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ADAM MICKIEWICZ, THE NATIONAL 
_ POET OF POLAND 

(Published 1911) 

Daily News. — " Miss Gardner's able study. . . . Lovex§_ of 
t he he rflic.in history will be grateful to Miss Gardner for her account 
of this noble enthusiast." (Rest of review, of more than a column, 
analysing the matter of the book.) 

Scotsman. — " So little is known in this country about Polish 
literati that a book which tells the moving story of the greatest 
among the poets of Poland is sure ol"a~ welcome from student 
readers. The present interesting volume — while it is instructive 
in no small measure as to the scope and character of Mickiewicz's 
poetry and literary work — draws so lively a picture of the perse- 
cutions and sufferings and of the uncon^uered spirit of the poet 
that its human interest easily overbears mere questions of litera- 
ture. . . . The work, at once discriminating and enthusiastic, 
will warmly interest all sympathetic students of Slavonic popular 
literature." (Rest of review analyses matter of the book.) 

Westminster Gazette.—" Miss Gardner tells the story with 
excellent insight and sympathy. . . . The author's description of 
the four parts of this poem gives a vivid idea of its far-reaching 
scope, its passionate energy, and intensity of patriotism." (Rest 
of review, tHfee-quarters of a column, analyses matter of book.) 

Birmingham Daily Post. — " We are very glad to see that 
Miss Gardner has at last produced a well-documented and im- 
passioned study of the life and achievements of Mickiewicz. . . . 
Miss Gardner has done a fine and useful piece of work." (Rest 
of review, a column, analysis of matter of book, and calling 
attention to the importance of work upon Poland.) 

Manchester Guardian. — " Miss Gardner, a devoted and accom- 
plished student of Polish literature, has performed a considerable 
service in making better known the life and work of the most 
famous of PoUsh poets. . . . His pathetic story is told in great 
detail and with deep sympathy by Miss Gardner. . . . Some of 
her prose renderings are of great beauty — often with the wild and 
wayward beauty which we associate with Chopin." (Rest of 
review, three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter of book.) 

New Age. — " A real work of love, honest and thorough." ' (Rest 
of review, of about a column, analysis of matter of the book.) : 

1 



ADAM MICKIEWICZ [contd.) 

Cambridge Review. — " Miss Gardner . . . gives us a remark- 
ably true picture of the relations between the poet and his country. 
. . . Miss Gardner has realized fully what she attempted, and 
indeed few countrymen of the poet could perform the task better." 

Bulletin Polonais. — " Une etude biographique et litteraire tr^s 
substantielle, tres bien documentee, con^ue tr^s methodique- 
ment et ecrite avec beaucoup de charme et de clarte. . . . C'est 
h notre connaissance le premier livre anglais qui traite avec tant 
d'ampleur et tant de conscience une question d'histoire littergLire 
polonaise. Nous esp^rons que Mile. Gardner ne se bomera pas 
k ce brillant coup d'essai." 

Academy. — " Miss Gardner has done a real service." (The rest 
of a very long and sympathetic review is an analysis of the matter 
of the book.) 

Tablet.—" In these days, when the reader is embarrassed by 
the abundance of books that are not wanted ... it is well to 
meet with a work at once so necessary and so well done. . . . 
When great poetry has waited so long for appreciation, and a story 
full of interest has been left untold, we might welcome any attempt 
to supply the deficiency. But in this case the work is so admirably 
done that it would be welcome, though we had other biographies 
or critical appreciations of the Polish poet. This remarkable 
work . . . Apart from the purely biographical interest, which is 
of a high order, there is much that throws new light on the tragic 
pages of modem Polish history. ... It may be hoped that this 
book will do something to awaken a new interest in the history 
and literature of Poland." (Rest of review, about a column, 
analysis of matter.) 

Standard. — " This is the first attempt which has been made 
in our language to capture the imagination by a critical study 
of the fine character and high achievements of Adam Mickiewicz. 
Miss Monica Gardner writes exceedingly well — with knowledge, 
with sympathy, and with vision. . . . The book ... is a capable 
bit of work, and it certainly succeeds in giving the reader a realistic 
and impressive picture of a man who loved Poland with an un- 
divided heart." (Rest of review, about three-quarters of a column, 
analysis of matter.) 

Athenaeum. — " One would have been grateful ior a moderate 
biography of Poland's national poet ; Miss Gardner's work merits 
a more distinguished adjective, and therefore is doubly worthy 
of attention." (Rest of review analysis of matter.) 



ADAM MICKIEWICZ {contd.) 

Glasgow Herald.—" The intensely tragic story is set forth 
by Miss Gardner with skill equal to her sympathy. . . . What 
an inspiration Mickiewicz was, and is, may be readily gathered 
from the translations given by Miss Gardner, magnificent even 
as prose. . . . The book is singularly interesting as the story 
of a man and a nation and as giving a vivid glimpse of a poetry 
almost unknown in Britain." (Rest of review, about three- 
quarters of a column, analysis of matter.) 

Yorkshire Post. — " This book of Miss Gardner's should appeal 
powerfully to EngUsh readers because its subject has the provo- 
cations of novelty ; because the work is gracefully and sym- 
pathetically written, with discerning and intimate knowledge of 
fact and of character, and yet discriminating and just ; and be- 
cause it embodies once more the story, especially dear to our 
hearts, of the struggle of a patriotic race for freedom and national 
existence." (Rest of review, about three-quarters of a column, 
analysis of matter.) 



POLAND: A STUDY IN NATIONAL 
IDEALISM 

(Published 1915) 

Evening Standard. — " Miss Monica Gardner's eloquent book is 
a little epic of sorrow and courage. The picture that it paints 
is pitiful and_s_plendid. . . . The book must be read for itself. 
The' author has a style that has caught fire from its^ subject, and 
a grace and restraint that make the book an appeal to all lovers 
of literature, as well as to every generous heart." (Rest of review, 
three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.) 

Spectator. — " Her eloquent and touching book. . . . Miss 
Gardner gives us an excellent account", enriched by many spirited 
translations, of the principal works of these remarkable poets." 
(Rest of review, two columns and a half, a laudatory analysis of 
matter.) ^ 

T. P.'s Weekly. — " The admirable historical summary in Monica 
Gardner's Poland. . . . The author has written a book that must 
be read. . . . The position of Poland is one of the important 
questions to be settled by this war, and we cannot know too 
much of the soul of a country that, divided among spoilers, still 
retained national unity." (Rest of review, three-quarters of a 
column, analysis of matter.) 



POLAND : A STUDY IN NATIONAL IDEALISM (contd.) 
Pall Mall Gazette.—" Her well- written and brilliant book. 
This book deals vnth more than the soul of a jiation. It 
speaks for the S2iiit_of_a_people. . . . Miss 'Gardner is steeped in 
Polish literature, and her account of these great poets is intensely 
interesting. . . . Her description of Poland during the last hundred 
years is full of pathos and power. There is no straining after 
effect ; the facts are ineffaceable ; and this brief story brings 
out into bold relief the sufferings, sorrows, sacrifices, struggle, 
and strength of the Polish race. . . . This book is an eloquent 
description of a great people." (Rest of review, three-quarters 
of a column, analysis of matter.) 

World. — " At present the only kind of ' War Book ' that 
seems to us really worth reading is that of which the conflict now 
going on is rather the occasion than the cause. Such, we may 
say, is Poland : a Study in National Idealism, by Monica M. 
Gardner. . . . Clearly Miss Gardner has not been hurried into 
producing this admirable volume by the mere war, but only gives 
out in season the enlightening result of what she long previously 
assimilated and made her own. This book really reveals Poland." 
(Rest of review analysis of matter.) 

Outlook.—" In this little volume a faithful and fearless picture 
is given of her [Poland's] struggle for independence." (Rest of 
review, about a column, analysis of matter.) 

Daily News.—" Miss Gardner's sejisitiye and accomplished 
little study. . . . Miss Gardner's extremely spirited renderings." 
(Rest of review, column and a half, analysis of matter.) 

Manchester Guardian.—" For the first time in England we 
are able to read books on Poland by an author who has made a 
special study of that country. To those who know not Poland 
this book will be a revelation. ' ' (Rest of review analysis of matter.) 

Birmingham Daily Post.—" We render Miss Gardner the tribute 
of deep gratitude for introducing us to a noble literature." (Rest 
of review, three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.) 

The Venturer.—" Miss Gardner has done well to give us this 
book. It is not large in bulk, but it is no exaggeration to call 
it a great book." 

Expository Times.—" Let us read and follow the course of 
the war. Let us read and understand what must be when the 
war is over. Let us read Monica M. Gardner's delightful book 
on Poland. It is both literary and historical." (Rest of review 
quotation from the book.) 



POLAND : A STUDY IN NATIONAL IDEALISM (contd.) 

London Quarterly Review. — " The book is a real contribution 
to the true understanding of Polish character ^nd Polish aspira- 
tions." (Rest of review analysis of matter.) 

Tablet. — " This masterly critical appreciation of a great national 
Uterature. . . . This welcome work on the tragic story of the 
PoUsh people and on the glories of their great national literature 
is singularly happy in the opportuneness of its appearance. For 
however much other books may be neglected, there is naturally 
a great demand for books that offer any information on matters 
connected \\ith the war. In most cases, no doubt, what is called 
war literature is scarcely literature in the strict sense of the word. 
But here, happily, we have a book of rare Uterary merit . . . 
and it comes before us when it meets a present need. . . . Miss 
Gardner, in this fascinating little book on Poland, enables Enghsh 
readers to understand the tragic story of the Polish people, their 
unbroken spiritual unity, an"d lEelr undauntea hope in the future 
dT_their country." (Rest of review, two columns and a half, 
analysis of matter.) 

Times. — " Miss Gardner is an instructed and cultivated student 
of Poland." 



POLAND ("PEEPS AT MANY LANDS") 

(Published 1917) 

Daily Telegraph. — " To their popular series of travel books 
called ' Peeps at Many Lands ' Messrs. Black have now added 
a volume on Poland, by Monica M. Gardner, The more we know 
of Poland and the Polish people the better our understanding of 
the causes of the war. . . . The book is as good reading as any 
fiction, and the most austere critic must admit its relevance to the 
task of ' getting on with the war.' " 

Spectator. — " Young people should read Miss Monica Gardner's 
short and interesting book on Poland. . . . Enghsh readers know 
very little about the Poles, and this book deserves attention, for 
we cannot as a nation afford any longer to neglect Poland." 

Common Cause. — " The Uttle volume gives a most vivid and 
delightful picture of Poland as it was before the war, with its 
spacious steppes and wonderful forests, and it tells of the nation's 
struggle for freedom against over^vhelming odds. The book deals 
largely with the manners and customs of the people in modem 
times, which the writer makes extremely interesting ; but it tells 
also the main events in the history of the unfortunate kingdom 
from early days." 



POLAND ("PEEPS AT MANY LANDS") (contd) 

Globe.—" Miss Gardner tells in a most touching way the 
picturesque story of that unhappy land." 

Aberdeen Journal.—" To the ' Peeps ' series of attractive 
books ... has been added this dainty volume on Poland by 
Monica M. Gardner, well known as the author of Adam Mickiewicz 
and Poland : a Study in National Idealism. That the war must 
have a vital effect on the destiny of Poland is universally acknow- 
ledged, and now is the time to study the characteristics of the 
Poles. ... The chapter devoted to Polish National Customs is 
quite* fascinating, and ' A Day in Cracow ' presents vivid gUmpses 
of the chief city of ' Austrian ' Poland. The vexatious character 
of the rule in ' Prussian ' Poland is effectively exposed. Miss 
Gardner possesses a clear and pleasing style well suited to a popular 
and well-timed book." 

Tablet. — " With the fate of Poland once again in the melting- 
pot of a European war, Miss Monica Gardner's sympathetic account 
of its people and cities in Poland may be confidently recommended 
as the work of one who knows and loves her subject. It is a work 
which, small as it is, deserves the attention of readers young and 
old." 

Polish Review.—" Miss Monica Gardner's little book on Poland 
in the ' Peeps at Many Lands ' ought to be in the hands of all 
in this country who want to get to the heart of Poland. The 
authoress both knows and feels her subject, and her lively pic- 
turesque style .VVlhalies lier page^ interesting both to young 
ana'oidT'" ^ 

THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND 

(Published 1919) 

Spectator.—" Miss Gardner has followed up her monograph 
on Mickiewicz with an admirable companion study of Zygmunt 
Krasinski, the * Unknown ' or ' Anonymous ' Poet of Poland, second 
only to Mickiewicz in genius, and. in virtue of his personality, his 
strange gift of prescience, and the romantic and tragic conditions of 
his life, appealing to a wider audience than his great contemporary. 
He came on his father's side of an ancient, noble, and wealthy 
Polish family, related to the House of Savoy ; his mother was 
a Radziwill. A precocious only child, he was brought up in his 
father's palace in Warsaw and on his country estate at Opinogora. 
Vincent Krasinski had fought with distinction in the Pohsh Legion 



THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND (contd.) 

under Napoleon ; he was a commanding figure in the autonomous 
Kingdom of Poland until 1828, when he was the only member 
of the Senate of the Polish Diet who voted for the death-penalty 
at the trial of the Poles implicated in the Decembrist rising of 1825. 
More than that, when the students of the University at Warsaw 
deserted their lecture-rooms en masse to attend the funeral of the 
patriotic Bielinski in the folio-wing year, Zygmunt Krasinski was 
forbidden by his father to join them, and peremptorily ordered 
to go to his work. This invidious isolation blasted Zygmunt's 
youth and affected his whole career. He had to be removed from 
the University, was sent with a tutor to Geneva in 1829, and never 
saw Poland again save as a conquered province of Russia. His 
father transferred his allegiance to Nicholas I, migrated to St. 
Petersburg, was held in high honour by the Tsar and execrated 
by his fellow-countrymen. Later on he effectually thwarted Zyg- 
munt's desire to join in the rising of 1830, and by his persistence 
forced him into a reluctant manage de convenance. Zygmunt 
Krasinski was undoubtedly in a painful position, for he could not 
openly declare himself without still further compromising his 
father's position. He hated his "father's poUcy. but he loved the 
man who had trained him to love his country, and, above all, 
he feared him. It was a new and tragic variant on odi et amo, 
which drove Zygmunt Krasinski into a strange life of compromise, 
evasion, and sacrifice. To put it brutally, he was not a fighting 
man ; so far as action went, he feared his father more than he 
loved his country, and there was a sting of truth in the bitter taunt 
addressed to him by his brother-poet Slowacki : ' Thou wert 
afraid, son of a noble.' He was often conscious of his weakness 
as when he wrote to Henry Reeve in 1830 : ' I am a fool, I am 
a coward, I am a wretched being, I have the heart of a girl, I do 
not dare to brave a father's curse.' But it is right to remember 
that he was physically a weakling, tormented by ill-health, neurotic, 
and half -blind from his nineteenth year. Torn in two by the conflict 
between filial duty and the desire to serve his country, always 
dreading the worst for himself, never free from the apprehension 
that he would end hia-days in Siberia, he took refuge in anonymity 
as the only means of salving his conscience and sparing his father. 
The curious and self-protective devices by which he secured secrecy 
were sometimes more ingenious than dignified. Some of his works 
were put forth under the names or initials of his friends. The 
secret was most loyally kept, but others suffered. According to 
his biographer, his poems were penal contraband, and many of 
his countrymen were sent to Siberia for possessing them. What 
Krasinski sacrificed was fame, publicity, above all peace of mind. 
He envied those of his contemporaries who fought and died for 
their country. He was not a hero, and he knew it. The heroes 



THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND (contd.) 

of his poems and plays were always soldiers, men of action, and 
in his most original work, the extraordinary Undivine Comedy, he 
levelled the most damaging indictment against the self-centred 
egotism of the poet that has ever been penned by a man of letters. 
And the bitterness of the portrait is only heightened by the fact 
that it was largely inspired by self-criticism ; his letters and his 
life afford only too frequent justification for the recurrent comment 
of the mocking spirit in the play on the melodramatic pose of the 
hero : ' Thou composest a drama.' 

" The Undivine Comedy, a prose drama, though prompted by the 
events of 1830, makes no mention of Poland. It is a double tragedy 
in which the central figure, Henryk, after wrecking his home life by 
his egotism, assumes the leadership of his class, aristocratic and 
decadent, against a communistic rising led by Pankracy, a Mephis- 
topheles who is not sure of himself. Henryk goes down in the 
struggle, but his conqueror falls in the hour of triumph with the 
words ' Vicisti Galilaee ' on his lips. The scenes from the domestic 
tragedy are strangely moving : the sequel, in which the influence 
of Faust is obvious, is chiefly noteworthy for the flashes of prescience 
in which the Walpurgisnacht of brutal, revolting humanity fore- 
shadows with a strange clairvoyance the outstanding features 
of the democratic upheaval in Russia. But it is a drama of hopeless- 
ness : ' the cry of despair,' as Mickiewicz caUed it, ' of a man 
of genius who recognizes the greatness and difficulty of social 
questions ' without being able to solve them. The Undivine 
Comedy is ' the drama of a perishing world ' : it was only in his 
later works that Krasinski's belief in the ultimate resurrection of 
Poland emerged. In Iridion, another prose drama, we have his 
first direct appeal to his nation, though it is cast in the form of an 
allegorical romance, in which the men and women are rather 
symbols than portraits. The hero is a Greek in Rome in the time 
of Heliogabalus, Rome standing for Russia. Beginning with 
this drama, and increasingly developed in his later poems, is to 
be found Krasinski's abiding conviction that Poland's salvation 
consists in the abjuring of vengeance — that the poUtical redemption 
of the world would be achieved by her sufferings, as mankind was 
redeemed by the sufferings of Christ. The agony of Poland was 
not regarded by him as merited for any crimes in the past. She 
was an innocent victim, and the greater the wrong inflicted on her, 
the greater was the chance of her ultimate victory. In what was 
the darkest hour of his life, in 1846, when the Galician peasantry, 
incited by Austrian propagandists, rose and massacred the Polish 
nobles and Austria annexed Cracow, he wrote : ' That last span 
of earth torn from us by the fourth partition has more than anything 
else advanced our cause. Every wound inflicted on something 
holy and good becomes a far deeper wound, by the reflection of 



THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND {contd.) 

the Divine Justice that rules history, on him who inflicted it.' 
And again : ' There was never a nation in such sublime circum- 
stances, in such favourable conditions, who was so near, from the 
cross on which she hangs, to heaven whither she must ascend.' 
It will be readily understood that this panegyric of suffering, coming 
from a man who had not fought for his country or suffered forfeiture 
of his wealth, did not appeal to all Pohsh patriots. The gospel 
of pardon and the acceptance of pain revolted men like Kamienski 
and Slowacki, who resented the tone of the Psalms of the Future, 
in which Krasinski's distrust of democratic propaganda found 
impassioned utterance. His appeal to his countrymen to adopt 
the watchword of love and not that of terrorism was ineffective ; 
but the catastrophe of 1846, though it shattered his health, did 
not shatter his belief that Poland's resurrection depended on each 
Pole's personal purity of heart and deed. His last national poems 
are prayers for goodwill. In ' Resurrecturis ' his answer to the 
eternal mystery of undeserved pain is that the ' quiet might of 
sacrifice ' was ' the only power in the world which could crush 
Poland's crushing fate,' As the late Professor Morfill well said 
of him, Krasinski ' always stood by the open grave of his country,' 
and the somewhat cloudy mysticism in which he found his chief 
consolation is too rarefied for robuster minds. Yet his hope never 
wholly failed : the saying that he quoted to encourage his friend 
Soltan — ' speravit contra spent : that is a great and holy word ^ of 
the sacred Scriptures ' — might stand for his motto ; and a saying 
from one of his poems, as Miss Gardner not unjustly contends, 
might well be his epitaph : ' If you would mark him out by any 
sign, call him a Pole, for he loved Poland. In this love he lived 
and in it died.' 

" Krasinski died in Paris, where he had also been bom, in 1859, 
only outliving his father by three months, in which he was engaged 
on a memoir, never completed, in vindication of the memory of 
the man who had dominated his earthly existence. He had many 
devoted friends who advised and helped him, acted as his amanuenses, 
and, as we have seen, shielded him by assuming authorship of his 
works. In turn he was the generous friend of all Polish patriots 
in distress, whatever were their politics. Deeply susceptible from 
his boyhood, he was profoundly influenced by three women : 
Mme. Bobrowa, to whom he dedicated his Undivine Comedy and 
other works ; the beautiful and unhappy Countess Delphina Potocka, 
immortaUzed by her friendship with Chopin, who both before and 
for several years after Krasinski's marriage was his Egeria, and 
to whom he inscribed a series of love lyrics and the mystical poem 
' Dawn,' in which two exiles on the Lake of Como dream of the 
resurrection of their nation. The idealistic nature of Krasinski's 
love for Delphina Potocka, as compared with his infatuation for 



THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND (contd.) 

Mme. Bobrowa, is emphasized by his latest biographer. She was 
his Beatrice, and the figure of the woman he loved constantly 
merges in that of his eternal mistress, Poland. The third woman 
was his wife, Elibieta Branicka, whom he married reluctantly, 
treated coldly for years, but came in the end to respect and love 
for her goodness and forbearance, repairing his neglect in the beauti- 
ful poems of repentance and gratitude addressed to her in the last 
years of his troubled life. Miss Gardner's translations, especially 
those from Krasinski's prose works, are done with spirit and no 
little skill. The difficulties of the poems are greater, but she has 
given us at any rate a good idea of their mystical eloquence. She 
has made excellent use of the already extensive literature on the 
subject, culminating in the complete edition of his works published 
in 1912, the year of Krasinski's centenary. And she has drawn 
freely from the remarkable letters written in French to Henry 
Reeve, whom he met in Geneva in 1 830 — when Reeve was a romantic, 
enthusiastic youth ' with the face of a beautiful girl ' — and 
corresponded with for several years. More than sixty years later 
these letters were handed over by Henry Reeve to Krasinski's 
grandson, and published in Paris in 1902 with a Preface by Dr. 
Kallenbach, of Lwow University, the chief authority on Krasinski." 



KOSCIUSZKO 

A BIOGRAPHY 



KOSCIUSZKO 



A BIOGRAPHY 



BY 



MONICA M. GARDNER 

AUTHOR OF ''aDAM MICKIEWICZ " ; "POLAND; A STUDY IN NATIONAL 
IDEALISM " ; " THE ANCSYMOUS POET OF POLAND," ETC. 




rnxTTigniirwasiwr^LT! 



LONDON: GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD. 
RUSKIN HOUSE, 40 MUSEUM STREET W.C. i 
NEW YORK : CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



Firsl publisJied in igso 




nuk^ 



(All rights resented) 



\ 



TO 

WIESi.AWA CICHOWICZOWNA 

I AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATE THIS 

BOOK UPON THE NATIONAL 

HERO OF HER 

COUNTRY 



PREFACE 

The appearance of an English biography of the 
PoHsh patriot, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, requires no 
justification. Kosciuszko 's name is prominent in 
the long roll-call of Polish men and women who 
have shed their blood, sacrificed their happiness, 
and dedicated their lives to gain the liberation of 
Poland. We are now beholding what it was not 
given to them to see, the fruit of the seed they 
sowed — the restoration of their country to her 
place in the commonwealth of the world. It is 
therefore only fitting that at this moment we should 
recall the struggle of one of the noblest of Polish 
national heroes, whose newly risen country is the 
ally of England and America, and whose young 
compatriots fought with great gallantry by the 
side of British and American soldiers in the war 
that has effected the dehverance of Kosciuszko 's 
nation. 

M. M. G. 



17 



CONTENTS 



Preface .... 

Note ox the Pronunciation of 
Names 

CHAPTER 

I. The Youth of Kosciuszko 
II. The Fight for American Freedom 

III. The Years of Peace 

IV. The First Fight for Poland . 
V. The Eve of the Rising 

VI. The Rising of Kosciuszko — I. 
VII. The Rising of Kosciuszko — II. 
VIII. The Russian Prison 
IX. Exile 

List of Books Consulted 
Index 



PAGE 
17 



Polish 



/ 



21 

23 
37 
53 
71 

87 

96 

129 

159 

173 
204 
205 



19 



NOTE ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF- 
POLISH NAMES 

* C=ts. 
C, ci, =a soft English ch. 

Ch= strongly aspirated h, resembling ch in Scotch loch. 

Cz=ch, as in charm. 

Dz=j. 

J=y- 

L = a peculiarly PoUsh letter, roughly speaking to be pro- 
nounced between u and w. 

= 00, as in mood. 

Rz = the French j, as in Jean. 

i, si, =a slightly hissed and softened sound of sh. 

W = v. 

t, zi = French j. 

The stress in Polish falls almost invariably on the penultimate 
syllable. 



21 



KOSCIUSZKO 

CHAPTER I 

THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 

I The great national uprisings of history have for 
the most part gone down to time identified with 
the figure of a people's hero : with some personality 
which may be said in a certain manner to epitomize 
and symbolize the character of a race. " I and my 
nation are one": thus Poland's greatest poet, Adam 
Mickiewicz, sums up the devotion that will not 
shrink before the highest tests of sacrifice for a native 
country. " My name is Million, because I love 
millions and for millions suffer torment." If to 
this patriotism oblivious of self may be added an 
unstained moral integrity, the magnetism of an 
extraordinary personal charm, the glamour of a 
romantic setting, we have the pure type of a national 
champion. Representative, therefore, in every sense 
is the man with whose name is immortally asso- 
ciated the struggle of the Polish nation for her 
life — Tadeusz KosciuszkoJ 

Kosciuszko was born on February 12, 1746, during 
Poland's long stagnation under her Saxon kings. 
The nation was exhausted by wars forced upon her 
by her alien sovereigns. Her territories were the 
passage for Prussian, Russian, and Austrian armies, 

23 



24 KOSCIUSZKO 

traversing them at their will. With no natural 
boundaries to defend her, she was surrounded by 
the three most powerful states in Eastern Europe 
who were steadily working for her destruction. 
In part through her own impracticable constitution, 
but in greater measure from the deUberate machina- 
tions of her foreign enemies, whether carried on by 
secret intrigues or by the armed violence of superior 
force, Poland's poHtical Ufe was at a standstill, her 
parhament obstructed, her army reduced. Yet at 
the same time the undercurrent of a strong move- 
ment to regeneration was striving to make itself 
felt. Far-seeing men were busying themselves with 
problems of reform ; voices were raised in warning 
against the perils by which the commonwealth was 
beset. New ideas were pouring in from France. 
Efforts were being made by devoted individuals, 
often at the cost of great personal self-sacrifice, to 
amehorate the state of the peasantry, to raise the 
standard of education and of culture in the country. 
Under these conditions, in the last years of the inde- 
pendence of Poland, passed the childhood and youth of 
her future hberator. 

Kosciuszko came of a class for which we have 
no precise equivalent, that ranked as noble in a 
country where at that time the middle classes were 
unknown, and where the ordinary gentry, so long 
as they had nothing to do with trade, showed patents 
of nobihty, irrespective of means and standing. His 
father, who held a post of notary in his Lithuanian 
district and who owned more than one somewhat 
modest • estate, was universally respected for his 
upright character, which, together with his aptitude 
for affairs, caused his advice and assistance to be 



THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 25 

widely sought through the countryside. Kosciuszko ^ 
spent his boyhood in the tranquil, wholesome, out- 
of-door hfe of a remote spot in Lithuania. The 
home was the wooden one-storied dwelUng with 
thatched, sloping roof and rustic veranda, in aspect 
resembling a sort of glorified cottage, that long 
after Kosciuszko's day remained the type of a Pohsh 
country house. Kosciuszko's upbringing was of 
the simplest and most salutary description. There 
was neither show nor luxury in his home. The 
family fortune had been left to his father in an 
embarrassed condition : his father's care and dihgence 
had for the time saved it. The atmosphere that sur- 
rounded the young Kosciuszko was that of domestic 
virtue, strict probity. He had before his eyes the 
example of the devoted married hfe of his parents. 
He went freely and intimately among the peasants 
on his father's property, and thus learnt the strong 
love for the people that dictated the laws he urged 
upon his country when he became her- ruler. 

Unpretending as was his father's household, its 
practice was the patriarchal hospitahty that marked 
the manners of the Poland of a century and a half 
ago, as it does to-day. Friends and relations came 
and went, always welcome, whether expected or un- 
bidden. We have a dehcious letter from Kosciuszko's 
mother, Tekla, to her husband on one of the numerous 
occasions 3vhen he was away from home on business, 
in which, fondly calUng him " my heart, the most 
beloved Uttle dear Ludwik and benefactor of my 
hfe," she begs him to send her wine, for her house 
is filled with " perpetual guests," and will he try 
and procure her some fish, if there is any to be had, 
" because I am ashamed to have only barley bread 



26 KOSCIUSZKO 

on my table." ^ When accommodation failed in 
the overcrowded house, the men slept in the barn. 
In the day they hunted, shot, rode, or went off in 
-parties, mushroom hunting. If to the pure and 
unspoiled influence of his home Kosciuszko owes 
something at least of the moral rectitude and devotion 
to duty from which he neVer sweTved^, the cmmfry 
life~oF Lithuania, with its freedom and its strange 
charm, the Ufa that he loved above all others, has 
probably a good deal to say to the si mplicity o f 
nature and the straightness of o u tlooK that are 
such "strongly mar^ed'^h'aracteristics m this son of 
Lthe Lithuanian forests. 

His early education was given him by his mother, 
a woman of remarkable force of character and 
practical capacity. Left a widow with four children 
under age, of whom Tadeusz was the youngest, 
she, with her clear head and untiring energy, managed 
several farms and skilfully conducted the highly 
complicated money matters of the family. Tadeusz's 
home schooUng ended with his father's death when 
the child was twelve _^ears_. old. "He then attended 
the Jesuit iiollege at the chief town in his district, 
Brzes^. He was a diUgent and clever boy who 
loved his book and who showed a good deal of talent 
for drawing. He left school with a sound classical 
training and with an early developed passion for his 
country. Already Timoleon was his favourite hero 
of antiquity because, so he told a friend fifty years 
later, " he was able to restore his nation's freedom, 
taking nothing for himself." 

In 1763 the long and dreary reign of Augustus III, 

• T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. Cracow, 1894 ; later edition, 1906 
(Polish). 



THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 27 

the last Saxon king of Poland, came to an end. 
Russian diplomacy, supported by Russian cannon, 
placed Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, the lover 
of Catherine II, upon the Polish throne in 1764. 
The year following, Kosciuszko, an unknown boy 
of nineteen years of age whose destiny was strangely 
to coUide with that of the newly elected and last 
sovereign of independent Poland, was entered in 
the Corps of Cadets, otherwise called the Royal 
SchoolTIn VTarsawT— Prince Adam Czartoryski, a 
leading' member of the great family, so predominant 
then in Polish politics that it was given the name of 
" The Family " par excellence, frequently visited 
Lithuania, where he held high miHtary command 
and possessed immense estates. Young Tadeusz 
attracted his interest, and it was through his influence 
that the boy was placed in an establishment of which 
he was the commandant and which, founded by the 
King, who was related to the Czartoryskis, was under 
immediate Royal patronage. Technically speaking, 
the school was not a military academy, but the 
education was largely military and the discipline 
was on military lines. Above all, it was a school 
for patriotism. 

The admission of the candidate was in the nature 
of a semi-chivalrous and national function, bearing 
the stamp of the knightly and romantic traditions 
of Poland. On the first day Kosciuszko was formally 
presented to the commandant, to the officers and to 
the brigade to which he was to belong. He embraced 
'his new comrades, was initiated into the regulations 
and duties of the life before him and examined upon 
his capabilities. On the following day he gave in 
his promise to observe the rules, and with a good 



28 KOSCIUSZKO 

deal of ceremony was invested with the deep blue 
uniform of the cadet. But this was merely the 
probation of the " novice," as the aspirant was 
termed. A year's test followed, and then if judged 
worthy the youth received in the chapel his final 
enrolment. All his colleagues were present in full 
dress carr3dng their swords. High Mass was sung, 
which the " novice " heard kneeling and unarmed. 
The chaplain then laid before him his high obhgation 
to his country ; subsequently the proceedings were 
adjourned to the hall or square, where the brigadier 
proffered the neophyte's request for his sword. 
With the brigadier's hand on his left arm, on his 
right that of the sub-brigadier — the sub-brigadiers 
being the senior students — the candidate was put 
through a string of questions, reminiscent of those 
administered to a probationer taking the religious 
vows. One is typical : " Hast thou the sincere 
resolve always to use this weapon which thou art 
about to receive in defence of thy country and 
thy honour ? " On the youth's reply, " I have no 
other resolve," arms were presented, drums rolled, 
and the senior officer girded the new soldier with 
his sword, and placed his musket in his hand to 
the accompaniment of moral formulas. The young 
man then made a solemn promise not to disgrace 
his comrades by any crime or want of application 
to his duties. Led to his place in the ranks, he pre- 
sented arms, each brigade marched away, led by 
its brigadier, and the day concluded with a festive 
evening. 

The catechism that the cadet learnt by heart 
and repeated every Saturday to his sub-brigadier — 
it was written by Adam Czartoryski — was of the 



THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 29 

same patriotic description. Next to the love of 
God it placed the love of country. " Can the cadet 
fear or be a coward ? " was one of its questions, 
with the response, " I know not how to answer, 
for both the word and the thing for which it stands 
are unknown to me." This was no mere ornamental 
flourish : for a dauntless courage is one of the most 
distinctive characteristics of the Polish race, whether 
of its sons or daughters. No opportunity was lost, 
even in the textbooks of the school, to impress upon 
the students' minds that above all their lives belonged 
to Poland. Let them apply themselves to history, 
said the foreword of an encyclopaedia that Adam 
Czartoryski wrote expressly for them, so that they 
shall learn how to rule their own nation ; to the 
study of law, that they may correct the errors of 
those lawgivers gone before them. " You who have 
found your coimtry in this most lamentable condi- 
tion must people her with citizens ardent for her 
glory, the increase of her internal strength, her 
reputation among foreigners, the reformation of 
what is most evil in her government. May you, 
the new seed, change the face of your country." 

In this environment Kosciuszko spent the most 
impressionable period of his youth. Early portraits 
show us the winning, eager, mobile young face before 
Kfe moulded it into the rugged countenance of the 
PoUsh patriot, with its stern purpose and melancholy 
enthusiasm, that Hves as the hkeness of Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko. Even as a cadet Kosciuszko was 
distinguished not merely for his abihty, but still 
more for his dogged perseverance and fi^Jiity to duty. 
Tradition sayT'th'at^" determined to put in all the 
study that he could, he persuaded the night watch- 



i\ 



30 KOSCIUSZKO 

man to wake him on his way to light the staves at 
three in the morning by pu]Hng a cord that Kosciuszko 
tied to his left hand. His colleagues thought that 
his character in its firmness and resolution resembled 
that of Charles XII of Sweden, and nicknamed him 
" Swede." Truth and sincerity breathed in his 
every act and word. What he said he meant. What 
he professed he did. The strength that was in him 
was tempered by that p eculiar sweetness which was 
native to him all his life, and which in later manhood 
drew men as by magic to his banners, even as in 
his school-days it won the respect and love of his 
young comrades. The esteem in which his fellow- 
cadets held him is illustrated by the fact that on an 
occasion when they were mortally offended by some 
slight put upon them at a ball in the town they chose 
Kosciuszko as their spokesman to present their 
grievances to the King, who took a personal interest 
in the school. Something about the youth attracted 
the brilliant, highly cultured sovereign, the man 
who wavered according to the emotion or fear of 
the moment between the standpoint of a patriot 
or of a traitor. After that interview he often sent 
for Tadeusz ; and when Kosciuszko passed out of 
the school as one of its head scholars or officers, 
he was recommended to Stanislas Augustus as a 
recipient of what we should call a State travelUng 
scholarship. 

In 1768 Kosciuszko's mother died, leaving her 
two daughters married, the eldest, spendthrift, and 
most beloved son out on his own, and Tadeusz still 
a cadet. With his mother's death Kosciuszko's 
financial troubles began. For the greater part of 
his life he never knew what it was to have a sufficiency 



THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 31 

of means. His brother held the estate and apparently 
the control of the family money, that was no consider- 
able sum and had in latter years diminished. Public 
affairs, moreover, were now assuming an aspect that 
threatened the very existence of Kosciuszko's country. 
Catherine II's minister, Repnin, with Russian armies 
at his back, ruled the land. The Poles who stood 
forward in a last despairing attempt to deUver their 
country were removed by Russian troops to exile 
and Siberia. Then in 1768 rose under the Pulaski 
father and sons that gallant movement to save a 
nation's honour that is known as the Confederation 
of Bar. For four years the confederates fought in 
guerilla warfare all over Poland, in forest, marsh, 
hamlet, against the forces of Russia which held 
every town and fortress in the country. These 
things were the last that Kosciuszko saw of the old 
Repubhc of Poland. In the company of his friend 
Orlowski, who had been one of four cadets to receive 
the King's stipend, he departed from his country in 
1769 or 1770 with the intention of pursuing his 
studies abroad. 

Five years passed before Kosciuszko saw his native 
land again. Very little is known to us of that stage 
of his history. It is certain that he studied in the 
school of engineering and artillery in M6zi^res and 
conceivably in the Ecole Militaire of Paris. He 
took private lessons in afchitecture from Perronet, 
and followed up his strong taste for drawing and 
painting. Sketches from his hand still remain, 
guarded as treasures in Pohsh national museums. 
French fortifications engaged his close attention, 
and by the time he left France he had acquired the 
skill in miUtary engineering that saved a campaign 



32 KOSCIUSZKO 

in the New World and that defended Warsaw in 

the Old. 

It is said that Kosciuszko prolonged his absence 
abroad rather than return to see the enslavement 
of his country without being able to raise a hand in 
her defence. For in 1772 Russia, Austria, and Prussia 
signed an agreement to partition Poland between 
them, which, after a desperate resistance on the part 
of the PoHsh Diet, was carried out in 1775. Austria 
secured Gahcia, Prussia a part of Great Poland and, 
with the exception of Thorn and Danzig, what has 
since been known as " Prussian " Poland, while to 
Russia fell the whole of Lithuania. 

All this Kosciuszko watched from afar in helpless 
rage and bitterness of soul. His peace of mind was 
further destroyed by his increasing financial difficul- 
ties. Little enough of his share of his father's fortune 
could have remained to him, and he was. in debt. 
The Royal subsidy had ceased when the treasury 
was ruined by reason of the partition of Poland. 
Moreover, Stanislas Augustus was never a sure source 
on which to rely when it came to the question of 
* keeping a promise or paying his dues. The_greater 
part ofKosciuszko's career is that of a rnan pitted 
against the weight of adve rse c ircumstance. It 
was inevrtabTeTHaTIie who threw in his lot with an 
unhappy country could have no easy passage through 
life. In this he resembles more than one of the 
national heroes of history ; but unhke many another, 
he never_rea£b£d_thejesired goal. His is the 
traged^f _a^plendid and forlorn hope. Even apart 
from the story of his pubhc service his hfe was 
dogged by disappointment and harassing care. 
Somewhere in the year 1774 he at last returned 



THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 33 

home. A youth of twenty-eight, possessed of striking 
talent and freshly acquired science, he now, with 
his fiery patriotism and character as resolute as 
ardent, found himself in the country that he panted 
to serve condemned to inaction of the most galling 
description. The King who had been his patron 
was the tool of Catherine II and through her of Russia. 
Russian soldiers and officials overran even that 
part of Poland which still remained nominally in- 
dependent, but of which they were virtual masters. 
There was no employment open to Kosciuszko. 
A commission in the minute army that survived 
the partition was only to be had by purchase, and 
he had no money forthcoming. All that he could 
do was to retire into the country, while he devoted 
his energies to the thankless task of disentangling the 
finances that the elder brother, Jozef Kosciuszko, was 
squandering right and left in debts and dissipation. 
The relations between this riotous brother and Tadeusz, 
himself the most frugal and upright of j'ouths, were 
so painful that the latter refused to remain in the 
old home that had not yet gone, as it did later, to 
Jozef 's creditors. He therefore in true PoHsh fashion 
took up his abode in the houses of different kinsfolk, 
often staying with his. married sisters, and especially 
with that best beloved sister, Anna Estkowa. Between 
him and her there was always the bond of a most 
tender and intimate affection, to which their letters, 
still preserved in Polish archives, bear eloquent 
testimony. 

At this time occurred the first love affair of the 
hero, who never married. Among the manor-houses 
that KosciuszkoT visited was that of Jozef Sosnowski. 
He was Kosciuszko's kinsman and had been his 

3 



34 KOSCIUSZKO 

father's friend. Tadeusz was a constant guest at 
his house, giving lessons in drawing, mathematics, 
and history, his favourite subjects, to the daughters 
of tTTe^Tibuse by way of return for their father's 
hospitahty. With one of these girls, Ludwika, 
Kosciuszko fell in love. Various tender passages 
passed between them, without the knowledge of 
the parents but aided and abetted by the young 
people of the family, in an arbour in the garden. 
But another destiny was preparing for the lady. 
The young and poor engineer's aspirations to her 
hand were not tolerated by the father whose ambition 
.had already led him into dealings that throw no 
very creditable light on his patriotism, and that had 
Kosciuszko known he would certainly never have 
frequented his house. Over the gaming tables 
Sosnowski had made a bargain with his opponent, 
a palatine of the Lubomirski family, in which it 
was arranged that the latter's son should marry 
j^dwika Sosnowska. Getting wind of the Kosciuszko 
romance, hFpnvately bade the girl's mother remove 
her from the scenes ; and when one day Kosciuszko 
arrived at the manor he found the ladies gone. 

The bitter affront and the disappointment to 
his affections were accepted by Kosciuszko \dth the 
silent dignity that belonged to his character ; but 
they played their part in driving him out of Poland. 
Whether the story that Ludwika really fled to take 
refuge from the detested marriage imposed upon 
her in a convent, w^hence she was dragged by a ruse 
and forced to the bridal altar, as long afterwards 
she told Kosciuszko, was a romantic invention of 
her own or an embroidery, after the fashion of her 
century, on some foundation of fact, it is impossible 



. THE YOUTH OF KOSCIUSZKO 35 

to say ; but it is certain that through her unhappy 
married life she clung fondly to the memory of her 
first and young lover. So long after the rupture 
as fourteen j^ears his name was a forbidden topic 
between herself and her mother, and at a critical 
moment in Kosciuszko's career we shall find her 
stepping in to use her rank and position with Stanislas 
Augustus on his behalf. 

With home, fortune, hopes of domestic happiness, 
all chance of serving his country, gone, Kosciuszko 
determined to seek another sphere. He left Poland 
in the autumn of 1775. 

Poverty constrained him to make the journey in 
the cheapest manner possible. He therefore went 
down the Vistula in a barge, one of the picturesque 
flat-bottomed craft that still ply on Poland's greatest 
river — the river which flows through two of her 
capitals and was, it is well said, partitioned with the 
land it waters from the Carpathians to the Baltic, 
On his way down the river he would, observes his 
chief Polish biographer, have seen for the first time, 
and not the last, the evidence before his eyes that 
his country lay conquered as his boat passed the 
Prussian cordon over waters that once were Polish. 
Thus he came down to the quaint old port of Danzig, 
with its stately old-world burgher palaces and heavily 
carved street doors, then still Poland's, but which 
Prussia was only biding her time to seize in a fresh 
dismemberment of Polish territory. 

Dead silence surrounds the following six months 
of Kosciuszko's life. Every probability points to 
the fact that he would have gone to Paris, where he 
had studied so long and where he had many friends 
and interests. The envoys from America were there 



36 KOSCIUSZKO 

on the mission of enlisting the help of France in the 
conflict of the States with Great Britain. We do 
not know whether Kosciuszko became personally 
acquainted with any of them. At all events the 
air was full of the story of a young country striving 
for her independence ; and it is not surprising that 
when next the figure of Kosciuszko stands out clearly 
in the face of history it is as a volunteer offering his 
sword to the United States to fight in the cause of 
freedom. 



CHAPTER II 

THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 

In the early summer of 1776 Kosciuszko crossed 
the Atlantic on the journey to America that was 
then in the hkeness of a pilgrimage to a wholly 
strange land. He found the country palpitating in 
the birth-throes of a nation rising to her own. Not 
only was she carrying on the contest with Great 
Britain by arms, but democratic resolutions, appeals 
for freedom for all men, were being read in the 
churches, proclaimed at every popular gathering. 
What a responsive chord all this struck in Kosciuszko 's 
heart we know from his subsequent history. 

His best documented historian ruthlessly dis- 
misses the story that the Pole presented him.self to 
Washington with the one request that he might 
fight for American independence, and that in reply 
to Washington's query, " What can I do for you ? " 
his terse reply was, " Try me." As a matter of fact 
he appHed to the Board of War, and his first employ- 
ment was in the old Quaker city of Philadelphia 
where, in company with another foreign engineer, 
a Frenchman, he was put to work fortifying the 
town against the British fleet's expected attack by 
the Delaware. These fortifications of his devising 

still remain. They gained for him his nomination 

37 



38 KOSCIUSZKO 

by Congress as engineer in the service of the States 
and the rank of colonel. 

After some months passed in Philadelphia, Kos- 
ciuszko was taken over by Gates for the northern 
army, and sent to report upon the defences of* 
Ticonderoga and Sugar Loaf Hill. Gates highly 
approved of his proposed suggestion of building a 
battery upon the summit of Sugar Loaf Hill ; but 
at this moment Gates was relieved of his command, 
and Kosciuszko's ideas were set aside for those of 
native Americans to whom his plan was an unheard- 
of innovation. The authorities soon saw their mis- 
take. " For the love of God let Kosciuszko return 
here," wrote Wilkinson when sent by the commander 
to inspect the work, " and as quickly as possible." 
But it was then too late. The English fleet was on 
Lake Champlain, and Kosciuszko's design was 
vindicated by the British carrying it out themselves. 
He, meanwhile, was fortifying Van Schaick, with the 
result that the army of the States, retreating in 
disorder before Burgoyne, could retire on a safe 
position, Kosciuszko's personal privations and dis- 
comforts were considerable. He did not so much 
as possess a blanket, and had perforce to sleep with 
Wilkinson under his. He was then sent on by 
Gates, who was again in command, to throw up 
fortifications in the defence of Saratoga. 

With justifiable pride the Poles point to the part 
played by their national hero in the victory at 
Saratoga which won for America not only the cam- 
paign, but her recognition as an independent nation 
from Louis XVL The Americans on their side 
freely acknowledged that Kosciuszko's work turned 
the scale in their favour. Gates modestly diverted 



\ 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 39 

the flood of congratulations of which he was the 
recipient by the observation that " the hills and 
woods were the great strategists which a young 
Polish engineer knew how to select with skill for 
my camp " ; and his official report to Congress 
states that " Colonel Kosciuszko chose and en- 
trenched the position," Addressing the President 
of Congress at the end of the year 1777, Washington, 
speaking of the crying necessity of engineers for the 
army, adds : " I would take the liberty to mention 
that I have been well informed that the engineer 
in the northern army (Kosciuszko I think his name 
is) is a gentleman of science and merit." ^ The plan 
of the fortifications that saved Saratoga is preserved 
in Kosciuszko 's own hand among Gates's papers, 
and traces of them could as late as 1906 be still 
discerned among beds of vegetables. 

That winter of the war — 1777-1778 — was famous 
for its length and its intolerable severity. The 
American soldiers suffered from all the miseries of 
hunger and cold and insufficient pay, Kosciuszko, to 
whom the piercing rigour of the climate must have 
seemed as a familiar visitant from his northern 
Lithuanian home, was on the borders of Canada 
when he heard of the arrival in Trenton of a Pole, 
famous, as Kosciuszko himself as yet was not, in 
the national records of Poland — Kazimierz Pulaski. 
With his father, brothers, and cousin, Pulaski had 
led the war of the Bar Confederation, He alone 
survived his family. His father died in prison, 
suspected by his confederates ; his brothers fell in 
battle, or in their turn breathed their last in prison. 
Ignorant of fear and gaily risking all for his country, 

' Jared Sparks, Writings of George Washington. Boston, 1847. 



40 KOSCIUSZKO 

Kazimierz carried on the struggle without them. 
Pursued on all sides by the Russians, he performed 
almost incredible feats of doubhng and unheard-of 
marches : leading his troops in the Ukrainian 
steppes, escaping to the Carpathians, reappearing 
in Great Poland, fighting on until the last doomed 
defence of Czenstochowa, after which he was seen 
no more in Poland. In, Paris he met Benjamin 
Franklin and other envoys of the States, and, like 
Kosciuszko, he set sail to fight for liberty in the 
New World. 

AfChristmas time in that bitter winter Kosciuszko 
came out on furlough through the wild snowbound 
land to Trenton, impelled by desire to see the Pole 
whom he knew well by repute, and by the craving 
to hear news of his country from the first compatriot 
who had come across his path in the New World. 
They had not known each other in Poland, for 
Kosciuszko had been a youth engaged in his studies 
at home and abroad while the Bar confederates 
were fighting ; but for the love of Poland they met 
as brothers. Kosciuszko stayed ten days with 
Pulaski and his Polish companion, entertained, 
despite their poverty, in true Pohsh style, and then 
returned to his quarters. Probably on the way 
to or from Trenton he turned aside to Valley Forge 
to make the acquaintance of Lafayette, who had 
come over to America with Pulaski, and it is possible 
that on this occasion he may have met Washington. 
He never saw Pulaski again, for, leading a headlong 
charge with the fiery impetus of the Polish knight 
of old, the leader of Bar fell at Savannah in October 
1779. 

The question of the defence of the Hudson was 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 41 

now being agitated. West Point, the so-called 
Gibraltar of the Hudson, was chosen for its com- 
manding position on the heights above the river, 
and the work of fortifying it was finally conferred, 
over the head of the French engineer, Radiere, upon 
Kosciuszko. " Mr. Kosciuszko," wrote McDougall, 
the general now in command of the northern army, 
to Washington, Gates being employed at the Board 
of War, " is esteemed by those who have attended 
the works at West Point to have more practice 
than Colonel Radiere, and his manner of treating 
the people is more acceptable than that of the latter ; 
which induced General Parsons and Governor CHnton 
to desire the former may be continued at West Point." ^ 
Washington acceded to McDougall's request and 
confirmed the appointment to the Pole, not only 
because he was the cleverer engineer, but especially, 
adds Washington, because " you say Kosciuszko 
is better adapted to the genius and temper of the 
people."^ A few months later Washington ordered 
Kosciuszko to submit his plans to the approval of 
an inferior officer. Kosciuszko, who never sought' 
distinction or pushed his own claims, did not permit 
himself to resent what was, in fact, a sHght ; but 
quietly went forward in his own thorough and pains- 
taking manner with the business entrusted to him. 
Kosciuszko's work at West Point was the longest 
and the most important of his undertakings in the 
United States, and is inseparably connected in the 
American mind with his name. Little is now left 
of his fortifications ; but the monument raised in 
his honour by the American youth, with the inscrip- 

I Jared Sparks, Writings of George Washington. 
» Ibid. 



42 KOSCIUSZKO 

tion : " To the hero of two worlds " remains, a grate- 
ful tribute to his memory. That the military 
students of the United States can look back to West 
Point as their Alma Mater is in great measure 
Kosciuszko's doing. When it was first resolved 
to found a training school in arms for the young 
men of the States, Kosciuszko urged that it should 
be placed at West Point, and suggested the spot 
where it now stands. 

Kosciuszko was at West Point for two years. 
Here, if we do not accept the legends and conjectures 
of former meetings, he met Washington for the first 
time. He had two thousand five hundred work- 
men under him, whom he treated with the courtes}^ 
and consideration that always distinguished his 
dealings with his fellow-men, whether his equals or 
subordinates. The story goes that with his own 
" hands, assisted by his American workmen, he built 
himself some sort of cottage or shanty in the hope 
of one day receiving his own countrymen as his 
guests. One of his modern Polish biographers often 
heard in his youth a song purporting to be Kos- 
ciuszko's composition, with the tradition that he 
had composed it to his guitar — he played both the 
guitar and the violin — on the arrival of Polish 
visitors. I The doggerel, kindly little verses, express 
the hope that everything his compatriots see in his 
modest house will be as agreeable to them as their 
company is to their host, and inform them that he 
raised its walls with the purpose of welcoming them 
therein. It is a fact that, true to the Pole's passion 
for the soil, he laid out a little garden, still known 

I F. Rychlicki, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and the Partition of Poland. 
Cracow, 1875 (Polish). 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 48 

as " Kosciuszko's Garden," where he loved to spend 
his leisure hours, alone with his thoughts of Poland. 
Times were hard at West Point and provisions scanty. 
Washington himself could not sufficiently furnish 
his table, and Kosciuszko naturally fared worse ; 
but out of the pay that he could ill afford and from 
his own inadequate stores the Pole constantly sent 
provisions to the English prisoners, whose misery 
was extreme. It is said, indeed, that had it not 
been for Kosciuszko's succour our prisoners would 
have died of want. Many years later a Pole, who 
collected the details of Kosciuszko's American ser- 
vice, fell sick of fever in. Australia. An EngHsh 
shopkeeper took him into his house and tended him 
as though he were his own — for the reason that he 
was a compatriot of the man who had saved the 
hfe of the Enghshman's grandfather when the latter 
was a starving prisoner at West Point. 

The West Point episode of Kosciuszko's career 
came to its end in the summer of 1780, when he 
asked Washington to transfer him to the southern 
army. The motive of the request was that, with- 
out having given Kosciuszko notice, Washington 
had removed a number of his workmen. The corre- 
spondence that passed between them was courteous 
but dry, Kosciuszko avoiding acrimonious expres- 
sions, and simply stating that under the present 
conditions he could no longer carry on the work at 
West Point. The relations between the liberator of 
America and the champion of Poland's freedom were, 
indeed, never of the nature exacted by romance. 
They were confined to strict necessity, and held 
none of the affection that marked the intercourse 
of Gates and Nathaniel Greene with their Polish 



44 KOSCIUSZKO 

engineer. The precise reason of this is hard to 
fathom. It has been ascribed to Kosciuszko's 
intimacy with Gates, Washington's adversary, or, 
again, to Kosciuszko's extreme reserve — which latter 
conjecture, in view of the warm and enduring 
friendships that the hero of Poland won for him- 
self in the New World, seems untenable. 

Gates, now nominated to the command of the 
southern army, had at once requested that Ko^- 
ciuszko should be sent to him. " The perfect 
qualities of that Pole," he wrote to Jefferson, " are 
now properly appreciated at headquarters, and 
may incline other personages to putting obstacles 
against his joining us ; but if he has once promised 
we can_depend^ upon him." 

Washington gave the required permission, to 
which Kosciuszko replied from West Point on 
August 4th : 

" The choice your Excellency was pleased to 
give me in your letter of yesterday is very kind ; 
and, as the completion of the works at this place 
during this campaign, as circumstances are, will 
be impossible in my opinion, I prefer going to the 
southward to continuing here. I beg you to favour 
me with your orders, and a letter of recommen- 
dation to the Board of War, as I shall pass through 
Philadelphia. I shall wait on your Excellency to 
pay due respects in a few days." ^ 

A French engineer took Kosciuszko's place, and 
the latter had not long left when the treachery of 
the new commandant of West Point, Arnold, was 
disclosed by the capture of Andre. Before Kosciuszko 
had time to reach the southern army his old friend 

' Jared Sparks, Writings of George Washington. 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 45 

Gates was defeated at Camden, and in consequence 
disgraced. Nathaniel Greene, after Washington the 
greatest general of the American Revolution, was 
appointed his successor. While awaiting Greene's 
arrival to take up his command Kosciuszko was 
for some time in Virginia among the planters. He 
thus saw the coloured slaves at close quarters, and 
was brought face to face with the horrors of the 
slave trade. It was probably then that, with his 
strong susceptibiUty to every form of human suffer- 
ing, he learnt that profound sympathy for the 
American negro which, seventeen years later, dic- 
tated his parting testament to the New World. 

Through the whole campaign of the Carolinas, 
the most brilHant and the most hardly won of the 
American War, Kosciuszko was present. When 
Greene arrived he found himself at the head of an 
army that was starving. His troops had literally 
not enough clothing required for the sake of decency. 
He was without money, without resources. He 
resolved to retire upon the unknown Pedee river. 
Immediately upon his arrival he sent Kosciuszko 
up the river with one guide to explore its reaches 
and to select a suitable spot for a camp of rest, 
charging him with as great celerity as he could 
compass. Kosciuszko rapidly acquitted himself of 
a task that was no easy matter in that waste of 
forest and marsh. In the words of an American 
historian : " The surveying of the famous Kos- 
ciuszko on the Pedee and Catawba had a great 
influence on the further course of the campaign." 
The campaign was carried on in a wild country of 
deep, roaring rivers, broken by falls, and often 
visited by sudden floods. The frequently impassable 



46 KOSCIUSZKO 

swamps breathed out poisonous exhalations. Rattle- 
snakes and other deadly reptiles lurked by the 
wayside. Great were the hardships that Kosciuszko, 
together Avith the rest of the army, endured. There 
were no regular suppHes of food, tents and blankets 
ran out, the soldiers waded waist-deep through 
rushing waters. Often invited to Greene's table, 
where the general entertained his officers with a 
kindliness and cordiality that atoned for the poor 
fare which was all that he could offer them, Kos- 
ciuszko was regarded with strong affection and 
admiration by a man who was himself worthy of 
the highest esteem. Kosciuszko's office, after the 
survey of the river, was to build boats for the perilous 
transport of the armjr over the treacherous and 
turbulent streams of the district. Greene writes : 
" Kosciuszko is emplo^^ed in building fiat-bottomed 
boats to be transported with the army if ever I 
shall be able to command the means of transporting 
them." ^ The boats of Kosciuszko's devising con- 
tributed to the saving of Greene's army in that 
wonderful retreat from Cornwallis, which is among 
the finest exploits of the War of Independence. 
Again his skill came prominently forward when 
Greene triumphantly passed the Dan with Cornwalhs 
on his heels, and thus definitely threw off the British 
pursuit. Kosciuszko was then despatched to fortify 
Halifax, but was soon recalled to assist in the siege 
of Ninety Six, a fort built with heavy stockades 
originally as a post of defence against the Red 
Indians. The night before the siege began Greene 
with Kosciuszko surveyed the English works. It 

» William Johnson, Sketches of the Life and Correspondence oj 
Nathaniel Greene. Charleston, 1822. 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 47 

was dark and rainy, and they approached the enemy 
so close that they were challenged and fired at by 
the sentries. The mining operations that Kosciuszko 
directed were of an almost insuperable difficulty, 
and his Virginian militiamen struck. By his per- 
suasive and sympathetic language Kosciuszko ralhed 
them to the work ; but finally Greene abandoned 
the siege. 

When the campaign changed to guerilla warfare 
Kosciuszko fought as a soldier, not as an engin'feer. 
At the battle of Eutaw Springs, where the licence 
of the American soldiers pillaging the British camp 
and murdering the prisoners lost Greene a decisive 
victory, we hear of Kosciuszko as making desperate 
attempts to restrain a carnage which horrified his 
humane feehngs, and personally saving the Hves 
of fifty Enghshmen, Peace and the defeat of 
Great Britain were in the air, but hostilities still 
dragged on, and Kosciuszko fought through 1782 
near Charleston with distinction. After the gallant 
Laurens had fallen, his post of managing the secret 
intelligence from Charleston passed to Kosciuszko. 
" Kosciuszko's innumerable communications," says 
the grandson and biographer of Greene, " exhibit 
the industry and intelligence \vith which he dis- 
charged that service." ^ Kosciuszko possessed all 
the Pohsh daring and Jove of adv enture. He would Cl 

sally forth to^carrjTblTthe^nglisir'horses and cattle 
that were sent to pasture under guard, protected 
by English guns from the fort. He succeeded in 
capturing horses, but the cattle were too closely 
protected. Or, accompanied by an American officer 

• George Washington Greene, Life of Nathaniel Greene. New 
York, 1 87 1. 



48 KOSCIUSZKO 

named Wilmot, he would cross the river to watch 
or harry the EngHsh on James' Island. One of 
these expeditions, when Kosciuszko and his com- 
panion attacked a party of English woodcutters, 
has the distinction of being the last occasion on 
which blood was shed in the American War. They 
were surprised by an ambuscade, and Wilmot was 
killed. At length Charleston fell. On December 14, 
1782, the American army entered the town in a 
triumphal procession, in which Kosciuszko rode 
with his feliow-ofhcers, greeted by the populace 
with flowers and fluttering kerchiefs and cries of 
" Welcome ! " and " God bless you ! " Greene's wife, 
a sprightly lady who kept the camp ahve, had joined 
him outside Charleston. Her heart was set on 
celebrating the evacuation of Charleston by a ball, 
and, although her Quaker husband playfully com- 
plained that such things were not in his line, she 
had her way. The ball-room was decorated by 
Kosciuszko, who adorned it with festoons of mag- 
nolia leaves and with flowers cunningly fashioned 
of paper. 

Peace with England was now attained. Kosciuszko 
had fought for six years in the American army. 
The testimony of the eminent soldier in whose 
close companionship he had served, whose hard- 
ships he had shared, whose warmest friendship 
he had won, that of Nathaniel Greene, best sums 
up what the Pole had done for America and what 
he had been to his brother-soldiers. " Colonel 
Kosciuszko belonged " — thus Greene — " to the num- 
ber of my most useful and dearest comrades in 
arms. I can liken to nothing his zeal in the pubhc 
service, and in the solution of important problems 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 49 

nothing could have been more helpful than his 
jiidgment, vigilance and diligence. In the execution 
of niy recommendations in every department of 
the service he was always eager, capable, in one 
word impervious against every temptation to ease, 
unwearied by any labour, fearless of every danger. 
He was greatly distinguished for his unexampled 
modesty and entire unconsciousness that he had 
done anything unusual. He never manifested desires 
or claims for himself, and never let any opportunity 
pass of calling attention to and recommending the 
merits of others." ^ All those who had been thrown 
together with him in the war speak in much the 
same manner. They notice his sweejtness and up- 
rightness of soul, his high-mindedness and delicate 
instincts, his careful thought for the men under 
his command. Even Harry Lee (" Light Horse 
Harry "), while carping at Kosciuszko's talents, to 
the lack of which, with no justification, he ascribes 
Greene's failure before Ninety Six, renders tribute 
to his engaging qualities as a comrade and a man. 
But Kosciuszko's services did not in the first instance 
receive the full recognition that might have been 
expected from the new Republic. He alone of all 
the superior officers of the Revolution received 
no^jpromotion other than that given wholesale^y 
Congress, and was forced to apply personally to 
Washington to rectify the omission. In language 
not too cordial, Washington presented his request to 
Congress, which conferred upon Kosciiiszko the rank 
of brigadier-general with the acknowledgment of 
its " high sense of his long, faithful and meritorious 
services." The recently founded patriotic Society 

I T. Korzon, KoUiuszko, 
4 



50 KOSCIUSZKO 

of the Cincinnati, of which Washington was the first 
president, elected Kosciuszko as an honoured member. 
Its broad blue and white ribbon carrying a golden 
eagle and a representation of Cincinnatus before 
the Roman Senate, with the inscription : " Omnia 
relinquit servare Rempublicam," is often to be seen 
in the portraits of Kosciuszko, suspended on his 
breast, 

Kosciuszko was now a landowner of American 
soil, by virtue of the grant by Congress of so many 
acres to the officers who had fought in the war. 
Friendship, affluence, a tranquil life on his own 
property, that most alluring of prospects to a son 
of a race which loves Mother Earth with an intense 
attachment, lay before him in the New World. 
To him nothing was worth the Poland that he had 
left as an obscure and disappointed youth. 

For all these years his heart had clung to the 
memory of his native land. On the rocks of West 
Point he had walked in solitude under the trees 
of his garden, and sat by the fountain which is still 
shown, yearning with an exile's home-sickness for 
his country. At times, probably very rarely in 
days of long and difficult transit and when com- 
munications for a fighting-line were doubly un- 
certain, letters crossed between Kosciuszko and 
friends in far-off Poland. " Two years ago I had 
a letter from him," wrote Adam Czartoryski in 1778, 
as he requested Benjamin Franklin to ascertain 
what had become of the youth in whom he had 
been interested ; " but from that time I have heard 
nothing of him." ^ Some sort of correspondence 
was carried on by Tadeusz with a friend and neigh- 

I T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM 51 

bour of his in his old home, Juhan Niemcewicz, the 
poet and future pohtician, lateFtTr''&e~ECosciuszko's 
companion in the Rising and his fellow-prisoner 
and exile. Niemcewicz, wrote the Princess Lubo- 
mirska who had been Ludwika Sosnowska, to 
Kosciuszko in America, " has told me that you 
are alive, he gave me your letter to read, and I 
in my turn hasten to tell you through Julian that 
in my heart I am unalterably and till death yours." ^ 

This letter, the same in which the lady gives the 
remarkable account of her marriage to which we 
have already alluded, left Kosciuszko cold. That 
chapter was entirely put away from him. The 
first and hopeless romance of his youth had naturally 
enough been driven off the field by stirring and 
strenuous action in a new hemisphere. Even had 
this not been the case, Kosciuszko was of too high 
a moral mould to cherish a passion for a married 
woman. His relations with_JJie__.Qther sex were ! 
always of the rnost delicate, most courteous and 
most chivalrous ; but, admired and honoured by 
women as he invariably was, they in reality enter 
but little in his life. 

Now that the war had ended Kosciuszko only 
waited to wind up his affairs in America, and then 
he could keep away from his country no longer. 
He started for Europe in July 1784, landed in 
France, and by way of Paris reached Poland in the 
same year. From America he brought an enhanced 
attraction to the democratic ideas that were gaining 
vogue in Europe, and wnich fiaJST had a hold over 
him from his youth. Still more, he had seen with 
his own eyes the miracle of a national struggle. 

I op. cit. 



52 KOSCIUSZKO 

He had fought and marched side by side with ragged, 
starving, undisciplined, unpaid men who had carried 
off the victory against a powerful nation and a 
regular army. With that memory burnt into his 
soul, ten years later he led a more desperate throw 
for a freedom to him incomparably dearer — his 
country's. 



# 



CHAPTER III 

THE YEARS OF PEACE 

When Kosciuszko returned to his native land, that 
great wave of a nation's magnificent effort to save 
herself by internal reform, which culminated in the 
Constitution of the 3rd of May, was sweeping over 
Poland. Equality of civic rights, freedom of the 
peasant, a liberal form of government, political and 
social reforms of all descriptions, were the questions 
of the hour. The first Commission of Education to 
be established in Europe, the precursor of our modern 
Ministry of Education, that had been opened two 
years before Kosciuszko left Poland, and on which 
sat Ignacy Potocki and Hugo KoHontaj, both after- 
wards to be closely associated with Kosciuszko in 
his war for national independence, was, founding 
schools, refounding universities, and raising the level 
of education all through the country. Roads were 
built, factories started, agriculture and trade given 
fresh impetus. A literary and artistic revival set 
in, warmly encouraged by Stanislas Augustus, who 
gathered painters, musicians, and poets around him 
in his brilHant court. All this was done by a dis- 
membered nation upon whose further and complete 
destruction the three powers that had already 

partitioned her were resolved. 

53 



54 KOSCIUSZKO 

Coincident with these last days of Poland's political 
existence that hold the tragic glory of a setting sun 
is the oue tranquil span^ oi Kosciuszka'sjife. His 
sister's husbandlTad managed his affairs so gener- 
ously and so well that his old home had been saved 
for him. Here Kosciuszko for four years led the 
retired life which was most to his taste, that of a 
country farmer and landowner in a small way, his 
peace only disturbed by the financial worries handed 
on to him by his brother. 

Soldierly simplicity was the note of Kosciuszko 's 
rustic countr}^ home. The living-room was set out 
with a plain old table, a few wooden seats and an 
ancient store cupboard. The furniture of the small 
sleeping apartment consisted of a bed and by its 
side a table on which lay Kosciuszko 's papers and 
books, conspicuous among the latter being the 
political writings of the great contemporary Polish 
reformers — Staszyc and Kollontaj — which to the 
Pole of Kosciuszko 's temperament were bound to 
be fraught with burning interest. His coffee was 
served in a cup made by his own hand ; the simple 
dishes and plates that composed his household stock 
were also his work, for the arts and crafts were 
always his favourite hobbies. Ah old cousin looked 
after the housekeeping. A coachman and man- 
servant were the only other members of the family. 
There was a garden well stocked with fruit-trees 
that was the delight of Kosciuszko 's heart. On a 
hillock covered with hazels he laid out walks, put 
up arbours and arranged a maze that wound so 
craftily among the thicket that the visitor who 
entered it found no easy exit. The maze may still 
be seen, together with the avenue of trees that 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 



55 



was planted by Kosciuszko himself. His interest 
in his domain jwas unfailing. When far away from 
home, in the midst of his military preoccupations, 
while commanding in the Polish army, he wrote 
minute directions to his sister on the importation 
of fresh trees, the sowing of different grains on the 
farm. 

Although Kosciuszko was an ardent farmer, 

his farm brought him no great returns ; an^ this 
by reason of the sacrifices that he made to his prin- 
ciples. As a Polish landowner he had manj^ peasants 
working on his property. By the legislation of that 
day, common to several countries besides Poland, 
these peasants were to a great extent under his 
power, and were compelled to the corvee. Such a 
condition of things was intolerable to Kosciuszko. 
The sufferings of his fellow-men, equal rights for all, 
were matters that ever touched him most nearly. 
Many others of his countrymen were earnestly 
setting their faces against this abuse of serfdom 
and, even before the measure was passed by law, 
as far as possible liberating the serfs on their estates. 
That at this time Kosciuszko entirely freed some 
of his peasants appears certain. It was not then 
prjacticable to give full freedom to the remainder ; 
buflTe reduced the forced labour of all the men on 
his property by one-half, and that of the women 
he abolished altogether. His personal loss was con- 
siderable. He was not a rich man. His stipend from 
America, for one cause or another, never reached 
him, and thanks to his brother his private means 
were in so involved a condition that he had to 
summon his sister to his help and contract various 
loans and debts. 



.^ 



56 KOSCIUSZKO 

This favourite sister, Anna Estkowa, lived not far, 
as distances go in Poland, from Kosciuszko's home. 
She and her husband and son were often guests in 
Kosciuszko's house, and he in hers. She frequently 
had to come to his rescue in housekeeping emergencies, 
and the correspondence between them at times takes 
a very playful note. " Little sister," or " My own 
dear Httle sister," alternates with the title used by 
the brother in jest : " Your right honourable lady- 
ship." Or again he calls her by epithets remarkable 
to the Enghsh ear, but which in Lithuania are terms 
of close intimacy, and correspond to the rough and 
endearing language of a fondly attached brother 
and sister in our own country. He sends her a 
packet of China tea or a wagon filled with barley 
that was forced to turn back on account of the bad 
state of the roads ; while she is requested to buy 
him " about four bottles of Enghsh beer : I will 
pay you back when I see you." Sometimes she is 
treated to a friendly scolding when she fails to fulfil 
Kosciuszko's commissions to his liking. 

" I particularly beg you to try and get [some 
furniture he required] from that joiner and send 
it to me on the first of May, or even sooner. . . . 
Come and stay with me in May. I will give you 
something to busy yourself with, and to keep you 
in health. You must send some money to Stanislas 
[her son, who was staying with Kosciuszko], and 
enjoin upon him to manage with it, but it would be 
better if he always had some in store. You are a 
cow : and why did you not buy more almonds in 
their shells, or at least four spoons ? " ^ 

" My Saint Anna "—thus he addresses her on 

I Letters of Kosciuszko, edited by L. Siemienski, Lwow, 1877 (Polish). 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 57 

another occasion : " I have sent my carts for the 
chairs and sofas. ... I present my humble respects 
to the Stolnik [his brother-in-law], and I beg him 
to let himself be persuaded to come and stay for 
a time with me, if only to smoke one pipe over my 
hearth. I beg you both to buy me two fine cows. 
Good-bye, lapwings." ^ 

■' Little sister of mine," he writes most tenderly 
after her husband's death : " come to me, I beg 
you. Take a carriage to Brzesc. I shall be there 
on Sunday for my cure, as Miiller ordered me to go 
there. Otherwise I would go to you. You must 
let yourself be ruled by reason. You are in bad 
health, I am in bad health : do you wish to drive 
me into the grave by your extravagant conduct ? 
You must watch over your health for the sake of 
your children, for my sake." ^ 

Kosciuszko loved his retirement, and was happiest 
in his own cherished gafdeiT; but he by no means 
led the life of a hermit, and was fond of visiting the 
country houses of his friends in the sociable open- 
hearted manner of his race. His frank kindliness 
and courtesy made him a welcorhe guest ; and 
the favourite amusement of the soldier who had 
gained fame in the New World was to play " blind 
man's buff " and other youthful games with the 
young people of the house. 

One of the manors that he frequented was that 
of Michal Zaleski, a legal and political functionary 
of some importance in Lithuania. With him and 
his wife Kosciuszko contracted a lasting friendship. 

" I will begin " — so runs a letter of his to Mme. 
Zaleska — " first of all by reproaching your ladyship 
' op. cit. * Ibid. 



58 KOSCIUSZKO 

for not having added even one word to the letter " 
— presumably her husband's. " A fine way of 
remembering your neighbour ! So I have only 
got to hurry home to be forgotten by my friends ! 
I will forbid any more of my water to be given to 
you, and will entirely prohibit my well ; so you 
will have to drink from your own, made badly by 
your husband. I lay my curse on your ladyship 
and will show you no mercy ; and if I should be 
in the church on Good Friday you would most 
certainly be denied absolution for your great and 
heinous sins. However, I kiss your hands, and be 
both of you convinced of the enduring respect and 
esteem with which I desire to be your humblest 
servant." ^ 

" Oh, would that I could obtain such a wife ! " he 
writes to the husband. " She is an example for 
thousands — how to find happiness at home with 
husband and children. What month were you 
born in ? If my birthday were in the same month, 
then I too might venture to marry." 2 

Although Kosciuszko lived far from the turmoil of 
publicity and out of the reach of events, his thoughts, 
as we know from his letters and from rough notes 
that exist in his handwriting, were much taken up 
with the crisis through which his country was 
passing. He pondered much upon the means of 
her preservation. His correspondence with Michal 
Zaleski insists upon the necessity for Poland of 
national self-consciousness and confidence in her 
own destiny. Education for the masses, a citizen 
army of burghers and peasants, were two of the 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 
2 Letters of Kosciuszko. 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 59 

reforms for which Kosciuszko most earnestly longed, 
and in which, in advance of his epoch, he saw a 
rem£d^LjQr_crYing__£,vils. It was a moment when 
the attention of thoughtful men was riveted on 
great national problems, for the famous Diet was 
now sitting that from i^SS^to 1791 was engaged in 
the task of framing for Poland the enlightened Con- 
stitution that, were it not for the armies of Prussia 
and Russia, would have saved her. One of its early 
enactments was the remodelling of the Polish army. 
Kosciuszko's standing was now for the first time 
to be publicly recognized by the Government of 
his country, and his talent impressed into her 
service. His old love, the Princess Lubomirska, here 
reappears in his history, writing a letter to the King, 
with the request that Kosciuszko should be given 
a military command. If to the modern reader it 
comes with something of a shock, as Korzon remarks, 
that a woman considered her intervention needed 
to push the claims of a soldier who had so greatly 
distinguished himself, we must remember that Kos- 
ciuszko was then scarcely known in Poland. His 
service had been foreign ; he belonged to a quiet 
country family that had nothing to do with affairs 
of state. Apart from the Princess's propaganda, 
of which we hear nothing further, Kosciuszko's 
name was sent up for recommendation to the Grand 
Diet, and the Lithuanian magnate who proposed it 
spoke before the Diet of Kosciuszko as a man ''_who 
possesses high personal qualities, and, as he learnt 
to shed his blood for a foreign country, will assuredly 
not grudge it to his own." Kosciuszko was present ; 
and as he heard these words he politely rose and 
bowed. Kosciuszko was no frequenter of courts or 



60 KOSCIUSZKO 

lover of palaces ; but his interests obliged him to 
present himself to the King, who remembered him 
as the promising j^outh to whom his favour had 
been given when a cadet. The upshot of all this 
was that he received the commission of major- 
general in the PoUsh army on the ist of October, 1789. 

His first command was in the country districts 
of Great Poland, close to the frontiers of that part 
of Poland which since the first partition had been 
under Prussian dominion. It was a keen disappoint- 
ment to Kosciuszko that his appointment was in 
the army of Poland proper, the so-called Crown 
army, instead of in that of his native Lithuania. 
That wild and romantic land of marsh and forest 
which the poetry of her great singer, Adam 
Mickiewicz, has made live for ever in Polish htera- 
ture, casts a spell as it were of enchantment over 
her born sons ; and Kosciuszko felt himself a 
stranger among the less simple and more sophisti- 
cated men with whom he was now thrown. 

While busy training soldiers his thoughts turned 
often to his little estate which he had placed in the 
charge of his sister. 

" See that the Dutch cheeses are made," he writes 
to her. " Please put in the grafts given me by 
Laskowski, and in those places where the former ones 
have not taken. To-morrow sow barley, oats. Plant 
small birches in the walk immediately behind the 
building." ^ 

" Why on earth don't you write to me ? " he 
says, reading her a fraternal lecture. " Are you 
ill ? Your health is bad. Take care of yourself ; 
do not do anything that might trouble you. Say 

I Letters of Kosciuszko. 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 61 

the same as I do, that there are people worse off 
than I, who would like to be in my place. Provi-v 
dence will cheer us, and can give us opportunities j 
and happiness beyond our expectations. I always 1 
commend myself to the Most High and submit I 
myself to His will. Do you do this, in this way) 
calm yourself, and so be happy. Here is a moral 
for you, which take to the letter. For Heaven's 
sake get me some trees somehow. Let the buds 
have sap, not like they are at the Princess's. Good- 
bye. Love me as I do you with all our souls." ^ 

In the course of his duties Kosciuszko had con- 
stantly to make journeys to Warsaw on business. 
When there he entered into close relations with 
those noblest of Poland's patriots and reformers, 
Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kollontaj, both holding 
offTceUMer the CrowiTandTemployed in drawing up 
the reforms that the Great Diet was passing. Here 
too Kosciuszko often saw his already friend, Niem- 
cewicz, who was bringing out patriotic plays and 
taking an active part among the enlightened political 
party. The high esteem in which Kosciuszko was 
held, not merely by those who loved him personally 
but by men who only knew of him by repute, may 
-be illustrated by a letter addressed to him, not then, 
but later, by Kollontaj, in which the latter tells 
Kosciuszko that words are not needed to express 
how much he prizes the friendship of one " whom 
I loved, honoured and admired before fate granted 
me to know you in person." 2 

In 1790 Prussia concluded a defensive and offen- 
sive alliance with Poland, which, as the sequel 

» op. cit. 

» Letters of Hugo Kollontaj. Poznali, 1872 (Polish). 



62 KOgCIUSZKO 

shows, she was prepared to break at the psycholo- 
gical moment, in order to secure PoUsh help in the 
probable Prussian war against an Austrian- Russian 
coalition. Poland began to make ready for the field. 
Kosciuszko was sent southwards, to Lublin, where 
he remained for the summer months. His employ- 
ment was to train the recruits for approaching 
active service. Against the difficulties always to 
beset him throughout his career of lack of ammuni- 
tion and want of funds, he devoted himself to his 
task with the energy and foresight that were cus- 
tomary with him. He was ordered in September to 
move to Podolia, on the frontiers of which the 
Russians were massing. He stayed in that district 
for many months uivtiUthe July of 1791. 

There the commandant of KalSneniec was no other 
than his old comrade and friend, Orjowski. 

" Truly beloved friend," wrote Orlowski to Kos- 
ciuszko during the winter of 1790, chaffiing him on 
the untiring activity that he displayed at his post : 
" I hear from everybody that you don't sit still in 
any place for a couple of hours, and that you only 
roam about like a Tartar, not settUng anywhere. 
However, I approve of that. It is evident that 
you mean to maintain your regiment in the dis- 
cipline and regularity of military service. I foresee 
yet another cause for your roaming about the world, 
''which you divulged in my presence. You write to 
me for a little wife, if I can find one here for you." ^ 

For, as is clear from various expressions in Kos- 
ciuszko's letters, the soldier, who was no longer young, 
was yearning for domestic happiness. And now, 
in the turmoil of warlike prepafaTions, he fell in love 

* T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 63 

with a girl of eighteen, Te kla Zurowska ^J:he daughter 
of a noble, ancTlierress to his estates. The courtship 
between the general bordering on middle age— he 
was then for ty-five — and this child in her teens 
has given us Kosciuszko^sjove-letters that are among 
the most charaiing "productions of his pen, for their 
tenderness and their half-playful chivalry, charac- 
teristic not only of Poland's national hero, but in 
themselves typically Polish. The couple met for the 
first time at a ball in a country manor-house. We 
can visualize the picturesque spectacle of the ball- 
room, brilhant with the gorgeous national costumes 
of the guests, both men and ladies ; the rugged and 
simple soldier in his Polish uniform, courteously 
handing to the many figured Mazur or the stately 
Polonaise the slim girUsh form sporting her tight 
sleeveless little coat with miUtary facings and rich 
fur edgings and sleeve-like streamers drooping from 
the shoulders, with her hair dressed in two long 
plaits sweeping to her skirts. The girl's family was 
staying in the town that was Kosciuszko's head- 
quarters, and so near Kosciuszko's rooms that the 
lovers could watch each other from their windows. 
Seeing one of Kosciuszko's officers leave his general's 
house in haste, Tekla, with the assurance, to use 
no harsher term, of her years, wrote a rebuke to her 
lover for getting rid of his subordinates with greater 
speed than was seemly. Kosciuszko replied by 
informing her what the business had been between 
himself and the soldier in question : " but I greeted 
him beautifully and politely, and if he went away 
quickly it was certainly because he saw a great many 
unfinished papers before me." ^ 

* Letters of Kosciuszko. 



64 KOSCIUSZKO 

There was another,. Xekla on the scenes, Tekla 
Orlewska, a cousin of the first Tekla, whose friend- 
sTiip^arM sympathy were freely given, both to Kos- 
ciuszko and the girl he loved. " To the two 
Teklas " Kosciuszko pens this letter. 

" For the notebook sent me " — this to Tekla 
Zurowska — " I thank thee very much, although it 
is somewhat undurable, not suitable for use. 'Twas 
a pity for little hands to labour at such a passing 
thing : a pity to wear eyes out over so small a form 
of writing which it must overstrain the eyes to read : 
it would have been better instead to have written 
more. I know not to whom I must write, whether 
to the first little Tekla or to the second ; but what 
I do know is that I love the first and am the greatest 
friend to the second. Both reproach me for some- 
what of which I do not find myself guilty. To the 
first I had no opportunity of writing, and now I 
am sending my answer by Kniaziewicz " — the future 
famous soldier of the Napoleonic legions : " but 
should he not come I have no one by whom to write, 
for I do not know which of my friends visits you. 
The second ought to reproach herself because she 
forgot so good a friend, and because with so many 
opportunities she told me nothing about either the 
first friend or about herself. They tell me that 
Orlewska has looked with favour upon a certain 
person, and that he has wounded her heart with 
love. Little Tekla, when thou writest send me 
at the same time one of the coral beads from thy 
neck. May Providence enfold thee in the cloak of 
perfect happiness, and be thou always convinced of 
my steadfastness, friendship, esteem, respect." ^ 

» Letters of Koiciuszko, 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 65 

But although Tekla's mother warmly encouraged 
Kosciuszko's cause, her father looked askance at 
his daughter's suitor : either on account of the 
disparity of age between them, or, which seems 
more probable, for the reason that Kosciuszko 
possessed neither large estates nor a great family 
name. On one occasion Kosciuszko, not finding 
himself pressed to make a longer stay under the 
Zurowski roof, took an earl}/ departure, telHng 
Tekla that : 

"It is always a bad thing for the uninvited to 
stay on. Through my natural delicacy I under- 
stood that I was one too many. I had to go, albeit 
with sorrow. I will now ask you where you are 
going to-morrow. If I could find a good excuse I 
would go there too. . . . May Heaven bless the 
mother and daughter, and may it also send down 
upon the father, even though he is unfriendly to 
me, bountiful riches of health. ... I kiss j'our 
little feet, and when you are dining with an English- 
man and Frenchman forget not the Pole who wishes 
you well." ^ 

" Captains P. and P. told me," he says later, 
" that I was the cause of your shedding tears. 
That such precious drops from lovely springs should 
be shed through suspicion of me causes the greatest 
anguish to my heart. Therefore I kneel and kiss 
your little hands until I win your pardon. But 
think not that I ever had any idea of casting an 
aspersion on you. It was only the result of my 
native frankness. I never have failed to relate to a 
friendly person what T "see, think, and hear. Now 
I will correct myself. Never henceforth will I 

I op. cit. 
5 



66 KOSCIUSZKO 

practise my frankness on you : even my thoughts 
shall be restrained." ^ 

But at times he attempted to keep the young 
lady in some sort of discipline. 

" Going to dine two miles off " — the Polish mile, 
be it observed, is more than three times the length 
of ours — " is a very bad thing," not for herself, he 
hastens to add : " four miles for your delicate 
mother are too much, and I am afraid lest she 
should feel it. As for you, if it were eight, all the 
better. The more you exert yourself the better 
your health will be. Jump, laugh, run, but don't 
sleep after dinner ; and if you cannot go out, at least 
walk in the hall, play or read." 2 

Again : " Please write more clearly, for I lose 
half of the pleasure ; or if you will write in pencil, 
wet it in water, then the letters will not be rubbed 
out." 3 

On her side the lady imposed orders upon her 
lover with which he, not very willingly, complied. 

" I have acted according to thy command," he 
writes, " and will not go to the christening, although 
it was disagreeable to me to refuse. I have no choice, 
because thou only art the mistress of my heart. 
Do whatever seems to thee best. To behold thee 
happy is my prayer to God." He tells her that he 
sees her father prowling about the windows of his 
own house and looking suspiciously in the direction 
of Kosciuszko's, but : "I will do as thou desirest, 
and will behave most politely, and if he says any- 
thing against my opinions I will gnaw out my tongue, 
but will answer nothing back." 4 

' Letters of Kosciuszko. * Ibid. 

S Ibid. 4 Ibid. 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 67 

The ill-founded rumour that in Kosciuszko's 
youth he had intended to run off with Ludwika 
Sosnowska had got to the ears of Tekla's father. 
Certain enemies of Kosciuszko's did their best to 
slander him yet further. The result was a scene 
of the sort more familiar a hundred and odd years 
ago than now : a girl throwing herself weeping at 
the feet of an enraged parent, the wrath of the 
father dissolving into tears, but his determination 
remaining implacable. The history of it was duly 
handed on to the absent Kosciuszko, whose comment 
was as follows : 

" I return thee, but bathed with tears, thy good- 
night." He charges Tekla not to let her mother, 
who regarded Kosciuszko with sincere affection, fret 
herself sick over what had happened. " Embrace her 
as fondly as she loves thee. . •. . Amuse and distract 
her so that her thoughts may incline her to sleep." 
He complains that Tekla does not tell him how 
she herself has weathered the storm : that he knows 
nothing of what is happening in her home. " I 
should be glad to be even in thy heart and enfold 
thee all within my heart. Each moment makes 
me uneasy for thee. ... As for me .. . all my mind 
is confused. There is bitterness in my heart, and 
I feel fever tearing my inmost being. Go to 
bed, and sleep with pleasant thoughts, seeing thy 
mother better. ... I commend thee to that Provi- 
dence who is beneficent to us all. Once more I 
embrace thee. I am going away, but in thought 
I am always present by thy side." ^ 

To Tekla's mother he wrote : 

" I cannot, God knows, I cannot keep silence or 

I Ibid. 



68 KOSCIUSZKO 

send letters, for what I have heard and read has 
struck me Uke a thunderbolt. You do not bid me 
write again, my little mother " — here he uses one 
of the caressing untranslatable Polish diminutives. 
'' I see that you have been prevailed upon by his 
[her husband's] persuasions. I see that I shall be 
parted from her for ever. ... I will always act accord- 
ing to the bidding of the mother who is mine and 
the mother of her who will always be in my heart. 
I will write no more and will not visit at her house, 
that the sight of her shall not be as poison to me. . . . 
However, may the all High Providence bless you ; 
and now I can write no more." ^ 

He then went off to manoeuvres. But the lovers 
had by no means given up hope. They continued 
their correspondence, and Kosciuszko, at Tekla's 
suggestion and subject to her approval, sent her a 
letter which he had drawn up for her father with a 
formal request for her hand. 

The father returned an unmitigated refusal, 
repeating the absurd charge that Kosciuszko had 
intended to abduct his daughter. To this Kos- 
ciuszko repUed with dignity and respect, ending 
with the words : 

" If I cannot gain for myself your favour, if I 
do not win for myself the hope of gaining her 
I love, if I do not receive the title so honourable 
for me of your son and am not to be made happy, 
at least I look for the approbation of an honest 
man." ^ 

Zurowski's answer was to remove his family to 
his Galician estate. Kosciuszko wrote joint letters 
to the mother, whom he still fondly terms his 
I Letters of Koiciuszko. » Ibid. 



THE YEARS OF PEACE 69 

" little mother," and to the daughter, assuring 
the former that his reply to her husband had 
been : 

"... most mild because he is your husband and the 
father of my little Tekla ; but I now see no chance 
after such a letter [the father's], at the very memory 
of which my blood boils. But I thank you for your 
kindness to me, which will be held in my undying 
remembrance. Your character, your rare attach- 
ment to your daughter, will be an example to all. , . . 
May you live long and happily, and you will find 
your reward when you wish to take it. My God ! 
what a horrible idea that I should have done violence 
to a law of nature, and in spite of the father have 
carried off from his house my beloved ! And thou, 
the life of my heart, who wert to have been the 
sweetness of all my life, little Tekla, forgive me 
for not finding fitting words at this moment, but, 
weeping, I bow my head to kiss thy little feet with 
affection that shall endure for ever. Do not exalt 
me in thy thoughts, but tread down all the proofs 
of my friendship and drown in thy memory my 
love for thee." ^ 

" I will always be with you both" — this to Tekla's 
mother, bidding her good-bye in language of unshaken 
affection : " although not present, yet in heart and 
thought." 2 

Korzon notices that at the moment of Kosciuszko's 
rebuff at the hands of his Tekla's father, who was 
after all nobody more than an ordinary landowner, 
the rejected suitor had several thousand soldiers 
under his command, and in days when wild and 
lawless acts were not unknown, and not difficult 

I Ibid. 2 Ibid. 



70 KOlSCIUSZKO 

of execution in a country where conditions were 
unsettled and communications long, it would have 
been easy enough for him to have carried his way 
by sheer force. But outrage and violence against 
another's rights, defiance of law and honour, were 
foreign to Kosciuszko's whole trend of character. 
Here, then, love passes out of Kosciuszko's hfe, 
whose only passion henceforth will be that of de- 
votion to his country. Five years later Tekla 
married Kniaziewicz, the friend of Kosciuszko who, 
with him, was to be sung in the most famous 
of Poland's poems, the Pan Tadeusz of Adam 
Mickiewicz. 



CHAPTER IV 

THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 

In 179 1, amidst an outburst o"f national rejoicing, 
was passed the Polish Constitution of the 3rd of 
May. Polish music and song have commemorated 
the day — to this hour the Polish nation dedicates 
each recurrent anniversary to its memory — when 
Poland triumphantly burst the shackles that were 
sapping her life and stood forth in the van of 
European states with a legislation that evoked the 
admiration of Burke, Walpole, and the foremost 
thinkers of the age. The old abuses were swept 
away, A constitutional and hereditary monarchy 
was established. Burghers were granted equal civic 
rights with the nobility, the condition of the peasants 
was ameliorated. Freedom was proclaimed to all 
who set foot upon the soil of Poland. 

New life now lay before the transfigured Polish 
state. But an internally strong and poHtically 
reformed Poland would have dealt the death-blow 
to Russia's designs of conquest. Catherine II's 
policy was therefore to force back internal anarchy 
upon the nation that had abjured it, and to prevent 
the new Constitution from being carried into effect. 
She had in her hand a minority of Polish nobles 
who had no mind to part with their inordinate 

71 



72 KOSCIUSZKO 

privileges ttiat the new laws had abolished, and who 
regarded a liberal constitution with distrust and 
disfavour. At the Empress's instigation the chief 
of the malcontents^Felix Potocki, Xavery Branicki, 
and Se'veriTT'Rzewuski, went to Petersburg to lay 
their grievances before her. Out of this handful of 
Pohsh traitors Catlifirine formed a confederation, 
suppor ted by Russia ; and in the spring of 1^92 
she formally declared war upon _Px)lan(l Such is 
the tragic storjrbT the Confederation of Targoivica, 
the name that has gone dowiTto^oaTum nTthe history 
of Poland, its members held as traitors by Polish 
posterity and by the majority of their contemporaries. 
While events were thus hurrying on in his country 
Kosciuszko, himself ready to strain every nerve in 
her cause, wrote in the April of 1792 to Michal 
Zaleski : 

" Having heard that you are staying in the Brzesc 
palatinate and are my near neighbour, and always 
my partisan and friend, I cannot refrain from sending 
you the expression of esteem which is due to you, 
as well as one of astonishment that you have sacri- 
ficed this time to domestic tranquillity and to your 
own happiness, Hving with the lady admired by all 
and most especially beloved by me for her character 
and most beautiful soul, and that you have aban- 
doned your country, to which you could have been 
of great assistance. This is the time when even 
where there is diversity of opinions there ought to 
be one unity of aim for her happiness, for leading 
I her to importance in Europe, to internally good 
( government. I well know and am convinced of 
your character, heart and patriotism ; but, as your 
talents, judgment, wit, and general knowledge of 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 73 

law are well known, so I should wish that you would 
bfc of assistance to your country. It is a sure fact 
that every citizen, even the most unimportant and 
leasT~lristructed, can cqntrijbute^ to the universal 
go0d;'bntiie~tcrwhoin the Almighty has given under- 
sfariding of affairs peater Jhan JhaFoJ^^ 
wh^njie^ ceases to be active. We must all unite in 
one aim,^ to release our land from the domination 
of foreigners, from the abasement and destruction 
of the very name of Pole. On ourselves depends 
the amendment of the government, on our morals ; 
and if we are base, covetous, interested, careless of 
our country, it is just that we shall have chains on 
our necks, and we shall be worthy of them." ^ 

Through the spring of 1792 Kosciuszko was pre- 
paring the division ot the aTmy under his command 
for the war wjth Russia. His were still the heart- 
burnings that he was to experience whenever he 
was at the head of men, those of a commander who 
had neither sufhcient soldiers, ammunition, nor pro- 
visions. On the 2 1st of May the King delivered a 
stirring speech to the Diet. " You behold deeds," 
he said, alluding to the Confederation of Targowica, 
" that aim at the destruction of the authority and 
existence of the present Diet and of the restoration 
of our entire independence. You behold the open 
support of those compatriots who are committing 
violence against the welfare and will of our country. 
You behold, therefore, the indispensable necessity 
that we should adopt as best we can every measure 
to defend and save our country. Whatever, honour- 
able Estates, you resolve I will not only accede to, 
but I hereby declare that I will take my place in 
' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



f 



74 KOSCIUSZKO 

person wheresoever my presence shall be called for." 
Probably those of his audience who knew the King 
best took his words at their true value. 

On May 22nd the Russi an army_ crflssed the 
frontier. Poland appealed to the terms of her 
treaty with Prussia, and requested the Prussian 
state to come to her assistance. Prussia^ threw off 
the mask and di savo wed her treaty obligations ; 
and the Poles were left to their own resources. Their 
numbers equalled, according to Kosciuszko's com- 
putation, one single column of the Russian army. 
An" empty treasury, an empty arsenal, were" beliind 
them ; they were pitted against seasoned soldiers, 
trained in successful war ; but the fire of patriotism 
ran high through their ranks. Many of the nobles, 
following the old traditions of Polish history, raised 
regiments in their own provinces, armed them at 
their own cost, and in person led them to the field. 
The commander-in-chief was young Jozef Ponia- 
towski, the nephew of the King. He was to become 
one of the most popular of Poland's heroes, as the 
brilliant leader of a Polish army during the Napo- 
leonic wars ; but at this moment he was a youth 
of twenty-eight, whose military knowledge was 
wholly neghgible, and who owed his high position 
to his family connections. The only Polish general 
who had practical experience of war was Kosciuszko ; 
and with him, for all Poniatowski's devoted service 
of his country, rests the chief fame of the Ukraine 
campaign. 

The story of that three months' campaign is one 
of a gallant struggle of a little army, now winning, 
now losing, inflicting heavy loss upon a superior 
enemy, but graduall}' driven back by overwhelming 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 75 

numbers through Volhynia and Podoha. During . 
all these weeks of desperate fighting Kosciuszko 
figures as the man whose bravery and skill again; 
and again saved the critical moment. In his dis-' 
patches to the King, whose arrival in the Pohsh 
camp was daily looked for, and who never came, 
Poniatowski praises Kosciuszko as " doing great 
service, not only by his courage, but also by his 
singular prudence." At Wlodzimierz, when the Pohsh 
arrny~was TnT^The utmost danger of annihilation, 
Kosciuszko thrust back the attack of " the whole i 
Russian army" — the quotation is his — with heavy ; 
loss to the Russians and httle to the Poles. It was, 1 
thus Poniatowski declares in his report to the 
King, thanks " to the good and circumspect dis- 
positions of General Kosciuszko that our retreat was 
continued in unbroken order." The subsequent safe 
passage of the army over the river is again ascribed 
to Kosciuszko. And so we arrive at the famous 
day of Dubienka, fought on the banks of the Bug 
between the marshes of Polesie and Gahcia, which 
covered Kosciuszko's name with glory, and which 
by tragic paradox saw the end of that stage of his 
nation's hope for freedom. 

Kosciuszko has left a manuscript account, written 
in the nature of a rough sketch, of the Ukraine 
campaign.^ It passed into the keeping of Stanislas 
Potocki, one of the great pioneers of educational 
reform in Poland, not to be confounded with his 
ill-famed namesake, Fehx Potocki. In it Kos- 
ciuszko gives with brevity and characteristic modesty 
the account of the battle : how, with Poniatowski 

' Printed in Edward Raczynski's Pictures of Poles and of Poland 
in the Eighteenth Century. Poznaa, 1841 (Polish). 



76 KOSCIUSZKO 

too far off to render assistance, and the safety of 
the whole PoUsh army depending upon Kosciuszko, 
" left to himself," to cite his own words — he in- 
variably employs the third person — he threw up 
defences and prepared for the Russian attack. 
Through the day of July i8th he stood with five 
thousand Poles^ and eight "cannon against a Russian 
army of^twenty thousand soldiers and forty cannon, 
repelHng the enemy with sanguinary loss to the 
latter. One of his officers who fought by his side 
told afterwards how he had seen Kosciuszko in the 
hottest fire calm and collected as though taking a 
stroll. The battle that has been called the Polish 
Thermopylae only closed when towards evening the 
Russian commander, Kachowski, violated neutral 
territory and fell upon the Poles from the side of 
Galicia, so that, hopelessly outnumbered, they were 
compelled to retreat. The retreat through the forest 
on a pitch-dark night was led by Kosciuszko, says 
an eyewitness, " with the utmost coolness and in the 
greatest order," directing an incessant fire on the 
pursuing Russians that told heavily upon them. 
Kniaziewicz, whom we last saw in a less stern moment 
of Kosciuszko's life, here played a gallant part. 

It has been pointed out that the honours of the 
day fell, not to the winner of the field of Dubienka, 
but to the vanquished : to Kosciuszko, not to the 
Russian general, Kachowski. Pole and Russian 
alike speak of the high military talent that Kosciuszko 
displayed, no less than of the valour that fought on, 
refusing defeat till hope was no more. The immediate 
result so far as Kosciuszko was personally concerned 
was the acknowledgment of his services by the King 
in the shape of promotion and the nomination he 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 77 

greatly desired to the command of one of the 
chief regiments in the PoHsh army, with all the 
affluence that these rewards bestowed upon a man 
who had never hitherto enjoyed wealth. His fame, 
too, travelled beyond the confines of his coulTEfy, 
and the Legislative Assembl}^ in Paris conferred 
upon him the title of Citizen of France. 

But the battle of Dubienka^waTliot a week old, 
and the army was eager for fresh action, when the 
Kijig gave in his adherence to the Confederation of 
Targowica ; in other words, sold himself and his 
nation to Russia. The echoes of his speech to the 
Diet, calling" upon the nation to fight till death, 
vowing that he was ready to make the sacrifice of 
his own life should his country need it, were still 
in the ears of those who had heard it. The army 
had waited in vain for him to place himself at its 
head ; then Catherine II threatened him, and as 
usual he dared not disobey. " Yielding to the 
desire of the Empress," he told his subjects, " and 
to the necessities of the country," he condemned 
the proceedings of the long Diet in which he had 
recognized the salvation of Poland at that one great 
moment of his life when he had thrown in his lot 
with the noble party of patriotic reform ; and now, 
as the mouthpiece of Catherine II, he pronounced 
the nation's only safety to he with the promoters 
of Targowica. The most favourable view of Stanislas 
Augustus's conduct has httle more to urge in his 
favour than that he was neither a fool nor a hero, 
saw no hope of success in the national movement, 
and preferred to throw in his lot with the other side. 
It was on the 23rd of July that the King signed the 
Confederation of Targowica. The news fell as the 



78 KOSCIUSZKO 

sentence of death upon the Pohsh camp that was 
palpitating with patriotic ardour. In the presence 
of all his officers Poniatowski wrote to the King as 
plainly as he dared : " News is here going through 
the camp which surel}^ must be spread by ill-disposed 
men who wish evil to Your Majesty, as though 
Your Majesty would treat with the betrayers of 
our country. The degradation of cringing to 
the betrayers of our country would be our 
grave." ^ 

The army, was, however, bidden bj/ the King to 
lay down~arms, and was recalled to Warsaw. " It 
is impossible to express the grief, despair, and anger 
of the army against the King," wrote Kosciuszko 
several months later as he collected his memories 
of the campaign in the manuscript notes referred 
to above. " The Prince-Oeneral himself gave proof 
of the greatest attachment to the country. All 
recognized the King's bad will, since there was still 
the possibility of defeating the Russian army." 
Kosciuszko was present at one of the conferences 
held after the arrival of the Royal mandate between 
the Polish commander and Kachowski ; and he 
could not restrain tears of wrath as he took stock 
of the Russian officers whom he was convinced that, 
were it not for treachery at headquarters, Poland 
could have overcome. Honour forbade the Polish 
officers to retain their commissions any longer in a 
service that was no more national, but that was 
in the domination of Russia and of those who were 
playing into her hands. On the march back to 
Warsaw, PoniatowsM^ent in his resignation to the 
King, and on another page of The ' same^^document 

I T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 79 

Kosciuszko — followed by hundreds of others — in a 
few laconic words laid down histardily- and hardly 
won command. 

"Since," his note runs, "the change in the 
national conditions are contrary to my original oath 
and internal convictions, I have the honour to request 
Your Royal Majesty for the favour of signing my 
resignation. 

" Tadeusz Kosciuszko." 

" We have sent our notes to the King," writes 
Kosciuszko to his warm friend, Adam Czartoryski's 
wife, to whom he poured out the wounds of his 
heart, bleeding at the sight of the terrible danger 
under which his country was being submerged, 
" requesting for our resignations, and for this reason, 
that in time we may not be drawn into an oath 
against our convictions, that we may not be col- 
leagues of those three [Branicki, Felix Potocki, and 
Rzewuski], and for fear that the King, if we requested 
later on for our resignations, will by that time not 
have the power to grant them to us. Therefore, we 
wish to secure ourselves, declaring to the King that 
if there is nothing against the country in these 
negotiations [with Russia], and if those personages 
will not be in the army, then we will serve, and 
withdraw our resignations. I expect to be in Warsaw 
this week, where I shall assuredly find out something 
more certain about this change. Oh, my God ! 
why wilt Thou not give us the means of rooting out 
the brood of the adversaries of the nation's happi- 
ness ? I feel unceasing wrath against them. Day p 
and nighTlhat one thought is forced upon me, 



80 KO^CIUSZKO 

and I shudder at the recollection of what end may 
befall our country." ^ 

He reached Warsaw, and was summoned by the 
King to an audience. Then a dramatic scene took 
place. The plainT" reserved soldier, the Puritan 
patriot as a PoHsh historian calls him, was con- 
fronted with the monarch who was a trained orator, 
to whom elegance of dress and manner were a study 
of moment, whose handsome face and captivating 
address had won him the favour — a fatal gift for 
Poland — of the Semiramis of the North. Against 
every cajolement of one who was an adept in the 
arts of blandishment, promise and flattery, Kos- 
I ciuszko had but one argument : that of the straight- 
; forward devotion that saw his country outraged, 
and that would accept no compromise where duty 
I to that country and to his own honour were con- 
cerned. In his boyhood Kosciuszko had been in 
marked manner dependent on the King's favour. 
Now — as at a later crisis in their mutual relations — 
it is clear that, however outspoken his language to 
his sovereign, Kosciuszko never forgot a subject's 
respect. Let him tell what passed in his own words : 
"^ " The King strongly urged me, sought to persuade, 
to convince me, finally sent me ladies known as 
being in relations with him, if only we would not 
abandon him and would not insist on our resig- 
nations. I always gave him the same answer, 
shattering all his arguments, so that he was often 
embarrassed what to answer me. At last with 
tears I told him that we had deserved some con- 
sideration, fighting for our country, for the state, 
for Your Royal Majesty, and that we will never 

* T. KoTzon, Kosciuszko. 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 81 

act against our convictions and honour. No one 
has yet chosen pubUcly to proclaim those scoundrels 
as infamous traitors. I alone have said this openly 
in the presence of the King, to which he answered : 
' Leave them to their shame.' " ^ 

Kosciuszko thus remained master of the situation. 
Stanislas Augustus was silenced before an integrity 
that would not bend before him. On August I7.th 
the Russian army entered Warsaw as conquerors. 
The Kmg"was" virtually a prisoner, for whom neither 
side felt compassion or respect, in the hands of 
Russia. By a rescript of Catherine II the Polish 
arniy was drafted into small divisions and scattered 
through the country, thus rendered powerless. The 
reforms of the Constitution wer_fi_set_aside. Russia 
ruled the country behind her puppets, the leaders 
of^T^argowica. The second partition was only a 
question of time. 

Radom was designated to Kosciuszko as his head- 
quarters ; but his determination to serve no more 
under the betrayers of his country held firm. He 
remained two months longer in Warsaw in the 
seclusion of an abandonment of grief, choosing to 
stay within walls rather than see the streets of the 
capital of Poland under the Russian heel. The 
last piece of business with which he concerned 
himself in the official capacity he was surrender- 
ing for honour's sake was to recommend to the 
King's notice several officers, including Kniaziewicz, 
for their gallantry in the late war. Amidst his 
heavy anxieties he made time to write to a friend, 
whose name we do not know, but who, to judge 
from the letter's closing words—" I bid you fare- 

I op. cit. 
6 



82 KO^CIUSZKO 

well, embracing you a thousand times with the most 
tender affection for ever " — was one very dear to 
Kosciuszko, begging him to relieve the necessities 
of some individual whose position in Warsaw 
without means had aroused the writer's pity. ^ 

" Watering my native soil with my tears," — thus 
he writes to Felix Potocki, in an outburst of the 
patriotic indignation that even his enemies respected 
— " I am going to the New World, to my second 
country to which I have acquired a right by fighting 
for her independence. Once there, I shall beseech 
Providence for a stable, free, and good government 
in Poland, for the independence of our nation, for 
virtuous, enlightened, and free inhabitants therein." ^ 
He fell sick for sorrow at the thought of his 
nation's future. From his bed of convalescence in 
the famous Blue Palace of the Czartoryskis in 
Warsaw he wrote to Michal Zaleski, acquainting 
him with his intention to repair as soon as the fever 
left him to Galicia, thence : 

"... possibly to Switzerland or England, whence 
I shall watch the course of events in our country. 
If they make for the happiness of the country, I 
, shall return ; if not, I shall move on further. I 
I shall enter no foreign service, and if I am forced 
■ to it by my poverty then I shall enter a service where 
there is a free state — but with an unchanging attach- 
ment to my country which I might serve no longer, 
as I saw nothing to convince me of the amelioration of 
the government or that gave any hope for the future 
happiness of our country in the measures at present 
taken " — meaning, of course, under the rule of the 
Confederation of Targowica. " I would not enter 

" Letters of Kosciustko. » Op. cit. 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 83 

into undertakings of which the end is unknown : 
I feared lest, if only indirectly, they should contribute 
to the unhappiness of the nation. I do not doubt 
that there are men even among the Targowicians 
who are trying to serve their country, but I know 
not if they can, and if they are in the way of doing 
it. With my whole heart and soul I long that some 
one experienced in affairs could enlighten me, for I 
am in the darkness of night." ^ 

Told in the light of subsequent events, from \ 
standing ground removed from the passion and \ 
confusion of a present strife, with, moreover, the j 
diplomatic intrigues of Russia and Prussia laid open 
before our eyes by modern research, the issues of 
this period of Poland's history are intelUgible enough ; 
but to the combatants in the arena the Hne was not 
so defined. Some among the Poles of the period, 
even including men of no mean capacity, wavered 
as to whether Catherine II were not genuinely pre- 
pared to guarantee a free Poland under Russian 
protection. The leaders of Targowica have been 
branded with the name of traitors, and justly ; 
but it seems as though they proceeded rather as 
hotheaded and unpatriotic malcontents than with 
the dehberate intention of betraying their country. 
Kosciuszko was ill-versed, either by nature, training,"! 
oTTnciinatIon71n~the art of politics ; but through | >^ 
this tangled we'b~''H'''^fplexky~lind uncertainty, j 

when present and future were equally enveloped ) 

in obscurity, his singleness of aim suppUed him with 
the unerring ilis^ncr'wrth whicIT through the whole 
of his life he met and unmasked the pitfalls that were 
spread before the unhappiest and the most cruelly 

» Ibid. 



84 KOSCIUSZKO 

betrayed of nations. Under the dictates of this 
pure patriotism he directed himself unfalteringly 
through the~most difficult and involved hours of 
his nation's history, allowing neither friendship, 
tradition, nor personal advantage to obscure for 
one moment the great object he had at stake — his 
country's good. He now laid down high rank, 
parted with fortune upon which his hand had barely 
had time to close, and prepared to face an uncertain 
future in a foreign land. On the eve of his departure 
from Poland he wrote to Princess Czartoryska : 

" I was faithful to my country ; I fought for her 
and would have offered myself a hundred times to 
death for her. Now it seems as if the end of my 
services for her is at hand ; perhaps this uniform 
which I am wearing will be the badge of shame. 
I will cast it off betimes, and lay my sword in the 
grave till future better times. ... I will once more 
bid farewell to you. Princess, whom all adore for 
your virtues and devotion. I kiss the hands which 
have often dried tears shed for our country." * 

Before leaving his native land, as far as he knew 
for ever, he sent, together with his farewell to the 
sister whom he never saw again, his last disposition 
of the home to which his heart clung with deep 
affection, and which was to be his no more. 

" Permit me, my sister, to embrace you, and 
because this may be the last time I shall be given 
that happiness I desire that you should know my 
will, that I bequeath to you my estate of Siech- 
nowicze, and that you have the right to bequeath 
it either to one of your sons or to any one, but under 
one condition : that Susanna and Faustin shall be 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, 



r? 



THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND 85 v^i!' 

kept in every comfort until their death ; that the \ 

peasants from every house in the whole estate shall 
not do more than two days of forced labour for 
the men, and for the women none at all. If it were 
another country where the government could ensure 
my will, I would free them entirely ; but in this 
country we must do what we are certain of being 
able to do to relieve humanity in any way, and 
always remember that by nature we are all equals, 
that riches and education coh~sTituie~ltTre^hry differ- 
ence ; ~That we"ougIrr*to have consideration for the 
poor and instruct ignorance, thus bringing about 
good morals. I am sending you my signature so^_^ 
that you can act legally according to my wish, so 
that later no disputes shall arise against you or 
your sons. Farewell ! I embrace you with the 
tenderest heart. 

" Embrace Susanna for me," he adds in a post- 
script. " Thank her for the friendship she has shown 
me. Remember me to Faustin and to your son 
Stanislas. Let him give his children a good repub- \ 
lican education with the virtues of. justice, honesty, j 
and honour." ^ \ 

The letter has come down to us with its small 
clear handwriting, a few words in the postscript 
erased with the scrupulous neatness of the whole 
document. We can best realize how near the con- 
dition of the peasants lay to Kosciuszko's heart 
when we reflect that it filled his parting communi- 
cation to his sister, written at the moment when, 
full of sorrow and anxiety, he was going into the 
unknown road of exile. He left Poland in the 
e arly days of October , having 'won, says Korzon, 
n^v t op. cit. 



86 KOSCIUSZKO 

the esteem of friend and foe alike. Before crossing 
the frontier into what was Pohsh soil, but since 
Austria had taken possession of it at the first par- 
tition was politically recognized as Poland no longer, 
he unbuckled his sword and, hfting his hands to 
heaven, prayed that he might be given once again 
to draw it in the defence of his dearly loved land. 



\ 



CHAPTER V 

THE EVE OF THE RISING 

In Galicia, Kosciuszko was welcomed by a crowd 
of sympathizers. The Czartoryskis, then residing 
on their Gahcian estates, showed him such marked 
proofs of their admiration that it was even said, 
without foundation, that Princess Czartoryska des- 
tined Kosciuszko for the husband of one of the 
princesses. A married daughter drew his portrait, 
inscribing it, after the taste of the epoch, with the 
words : " Tadeusz Kosciuszko, good, vaHant, but 
unhappy." On his feast-day, October 28th, the 
ladies of the family presented him with a wreath 
woven of leaves from an oak planted by the Polish 
hero with whose name Kosciuszko's is often coupled : 
Jan Sobieski, the deliverer of Christendom. At 
the banquet held on this occasion was present, not 
only Kosciuszko's friend, Orlowski, like him banished 
and for the same reason, but a young son of the 
house who had fought in the recent Russo-Polish 
war, Adam Czartoryski, soon to be removed by 
Catherine II's orders as a hostage to the Russian 
court, and who in later life was one of the principal 
and noblest figures in Polish politics of the nine- 
teenth century. We shall see his path again touching 
Kosciuszko's at a critical juncture in the history of 
their nation. 

87 



88 KOSCIUSZKO 

The bitterness of an exile's wanderings, so familiar 
to the generations of Poles that followed through 
the unhappy years of the succeeding century, was 
now to be tasted by Poland's national hero. The 
Austrian Government took alarm at the evidences 
of popularity that were showered upon him. The 
Russian Government would not have his presence 
near the Polish frontiers, and the Russian sentries 
received orders to be on the look-out not to permit 
him to enter any Polish town. Legends ran through 
the ranks of the superstitious Muscovite soldiery 
that Kosciuszko had, notwithstanding, come up to 
the sentries, and when fired upon had changed 
himself into the form of a cat. Such tales apart, 
on December 5th he was given notice by the Austrian 
authorities to quit the country within twelve hours. 

" I am grieved to leave beloved Poland, my friends 
and so many hearts that were good to me," sadly 
writes Kosciuszko. Spies and secret agents were 
watching the posts ; so he and his fellow-Poles 
protected themselves and their correspondence by 
various precautions, fictitious names, confidential 
messengers. " Bieda " — misfortune — was the pseu- 
donym by whicir"Kosciuszko, his heart heavy. with 
foreboding for his country and grief at her loss, 
signed himself, and wished to be known, as he set 
out for a foreign land. Cracow lay in the route that 
as a fugitive from the Austrian Government he was_ 
obliged to choose. He tarried a few days in the 
beautiful old city that is the sepulchre of Poland's 
kings, and where he was after death to lie in the 
last resting-place of those whom his nation most 
honours. Thence he journeyed to Leipzig. 

In Leipzig were the men of the nation whose 



THE EVE OF THE RISING 89 

minds and aims were in the closest sympathy with 
his. Kollontaj, Ignacy and Stanislas Potocki, and 
the band of Poles who had been responsible for the 
drawing up of the Constitution of the 3rd of May, 
had gathered together in the Saxon city out of 
reach of Russian vengeance, where they could best 
concert measures for saving Poland. In January 
1793 the news reached them that Prussia, whose 
attitude in regard to scraps of paper is no recent 
development, had helped herself to that portion of 
Great Poland which had escaped her at the first 
partition, and to Thorn and Danzig, which she had 
so long coveted, while Russia took the southern 
provinces of Poland and part of Lithuania. 

But the camp of PoHsh patriots in Leipzig would 
not give Poland up for lost. " She will not remain 
without assistance and means to save her," wrote 
Kollontaj. " Let them do what they will ; they 
will not bring about her destruction." " Kosciuszko 
is now in Paris" — this was 'early in 1793. "He 
is going to England and Sweden." As a matter 
of fact he went to neither at that time. " That 
upright man is very useful to his country." ^ 

It was to France, which had won Kosciuszko's 
heart in his youth, and whose help he had seen 
given to America in the latter's struggle for her 
freedom, that he now made his way to beg a young 
Republic's assistance for his country. He was not 
a dip lomat himself ; but Kollontaj and Ignacy 
Potocki were behind him with their instructions. 
Fortune never favoured Kosciuszko, He arrived in 
Paris^'sHortly before the execution of Louis XVI. 
He may even have been in the crowd around the 

1 Letters of Hugo Kollontaj. 



90 KOSCIUSZKO 

scaffold, the witness of a scene that, however strong 
his popular sympathies, would have inspired a man 
of his stamp with nothing but horror and con- 
demnation. The European coalition was formed 
against France : and Poland was forgotten. The 
i-^c^T, second partition by which Russia and Prussia 
secure^^the booty that they had, as we have seen, 
a few months previously arrogated to themselves, 
was effected in a Europe convulsed with war, that 
little noticed^andr^carceljr protested against the 
dislnemberment of a European state and the aggran- 
dizement ^f_two JoJEers, wfth'its fatal consequence 
ofTrussia's rise to power. The tale of the scene 
in the Diet of Grodno, convoked under the com- 
pulsion of the Russian armies to ratify the partition, 
is well known : how the few deputies who consented 
to attend sat with Russian cannon turned upon 
them, while Russian troops barred all the exits of 
the hall and carried off by night to Siberia those 
members who protested against the overthrow of 
their nation : how the group of Poles, deprived of 
all other means of defending their country, opposed 
an absolute silence to every proposal of their enemies, 
till the deed was signed that left only a shred of 
territory, in its turn doomed to fresh destruction, 
to the Republic of Poland. 

From Lebrun, the French Minister of Foreign 
Affairs, Kosciuszko succeeded in winning the promise 
of financial assistance in the war for Polish indepen- 
dence that the national party was projecting ; but 
shortly after his interview with Kosciuszko Lebrun 
lost liberty and office. With Danton Kosciuszko 
would have nothing to do, and in the sanguinary 
scenes of the Terror all pubHc traces of the Pole are 



THE EVE OF THE RISING 91 

lost. It is certain that he had no dealings with 
Robespierre or with any of the men who then 
sat in the French revolutionary tribunals. How 
strongly he abhorred their manner of revolution is 
proved not only from expressions he let drop during 
his own dictatorship, but still more by his mode of 
proceeding when he himself was responsible for a 
new government of state. He was a democrat p 
always ;_but jn_the best sense of^ the jword". 

Seeing that there wa^^iio 'prospect of gaining any- 
thing for Poland from France, Kosciuszko remained 
in seclusion during his further stay in Paris, writing 
in the blood-stained city the record to which we have 
already alluded of the national war in which he had 
lately fought. In this work he freely criticizes all 
the errors on the part of its leaders which he had 
seen, and in vain pointed out to Poniatowski, during 
its course ; but nothing could shake his conviction 
that the Polish cause could have triumphed. " If," 
he writes, " the whole army had been assembled 
beyond the Vistula with volunteers and burghers 
from the cities of Warsaw and Cracow, it would 
have risen to sixty thousand, and with a king at its 
head, fighting for its country and independence, what 
power, I ask, could have conquered it ? " He refers 
to the sights he had beheld in the American War as 
a proof of what soldiers could do without pay, if 
animated by enthusiasm for a sacred cause. That 
patriotic fire, says he, burned as brightly in his own 
country : the Polish soldier, the Polish citizen, were 
equally ready to sacrifice all. " The spirit was | 
everywhere, but no use was made of their enthu- \ (^ 
siasm and patriotism. . . . The weakness of the } 
King without military genius, without character or j 



92 KOSCIUSZKO 

love of his country, has now plunged our country, 
perhaps for ever, into anarchy and subjection to 
Muscovy." I 

Thus wrote Kosciuszko in the day when a peasant 
soldiery was unknown in Poland ; and a few months 
later he was leading his regiments of reapers and 
boatmen to the national Rising, 

There was nothing more for him to do in Paris. 
His intended attempt in England was given up, for 
Kollontaj received a broad hint from the British 
representative in Saxony that Kosciuszko's presence 
would be both unwelcome to George III and profit- 
less to the Polish cause. Kosciuszko may then 
have gone on from France to Brussels, but in the 
summer of 1793 he was b ack i n Leipzig in close 
consultatioiTwrth Ignacy Potocki, 

The condition of Poland was by now lamentable. 
Her position War1±Ht"of~arTmfidir aFfhe meFcy of 
a foreign army, ravaged by war, although she was 
not at war. Russians garrisoned every town. 
Russian soldiers were systematically pillaging and 
devastating the country districts, terrorizing village 
and town alike. Poles were arrested in their own 
houses at the will of their Russian conquerors, and 
despatched to Siberia. Hidden confederations, espe- 
cially among the Pohsh youth, were being carried on 
all over Poland, preparing to rise in defence of the 
national freedom. In the teeth of the Russian 
garrison and of Catherine IPs plenipotentiary, Igel- 
strom, Warsaw sent secret emissaries to the scattered 
remnants of the Polish army ; and in the conferences 
that were held at dead of night the choice of the 

' MS. of Kosciuszko in Pictures of Poles and of Poland in the 
Eighteenth Century, by Edward Raczynski. 



THE EVE OF THE RISING 93 

nation fell upon Kosciuszko as the leader above 
all others who should avenge the national dishonour 
and wrest back at the point of the sword the inde- 
pendence of Poland. In the beginning of September 
I7Q3 two j^olish delegates carried the proposal to 
him where lie stUrremained in Leipzig: '~' " 

~TEe great moment in the life of Tadeusz Kos- 
ciuszko had now arrived. His fiery and enthusiastic 
soul leapt to its call ; but with none of the headlong 
precipitance that would have been its ruin. Kos- 
ciuszko was too great a patriot to disdain wariness 
and cool calculation. He never stirred without 
seeing"eaCh— stgp^early mapped out before him. 
He took his counsels with Potocki and his other 
Polish intimates in Saxony ; then formulated his 
plan of the R ising. Each district of Poland and 
Lithuania was to be under the command of some 
citizen who would undertake secretly to beat up 
the inhabitants to arms. The people could choose 
their own officers according to the general wish. 
Special insistence was laid on the duties of caUing 
the peasants to fight side by side with the land- 
owners. The PoHsh peasant had hitherto been 
counted incapable of bearing arms : Kosciuszko 
overrode this ancient prejudice with results that 
have given one of the finest pages to the history 
of Poland. 

He then went alone with his confidant, Zajonczek, 
to the Polish frontiers to collect information. He 
sent round messengers to the different provinces of 
Poland and Lithuania carrying his letters and full 
instructions, while Zajonczek, under a false name, 
was despatched to Warsaw. The report the latter 
gave to Kosciuszko on his return was not satis- 



/ 



94 KOSCIUSZKO 

factory. Matters were not as yet ripe for the under- 
taking. Financial means in the widespread ruin 
that had come upon Poland through the over- 
running of her territories by a hostile soldiery were 
lacking, in spite of the private generosity of such 
a donor as the Warsaw banker, Kapostas. The 
difficulties of getting together a fighting force when 
Russian soldiers, closely supervising every move- 
ment of the Poles, occupied the country and the 
Polish divisions had been purposely drafted to 
great distances from each other by the Empress, 
were almost insuperable. The peasant rising upon 
which Kosciuszko had built his best hopes was 
unprepared. But two elements remained that 
should, as pointed out by^ajonczek, consolidate 
and ensur e a _great national ^sjng : universal 
detestation of_the ^ Russia n and limitless confidence 
in t he chosen national lea der. Kosciuszko deemed 
it advisable to wait. " It is impossible," he said 
after receiving Zajonczek's report, " to build on 
such frail foundations ; for it would be a sad thing 
to begin lightly and without consideration, only to 
fall." He himself, recognizable as he was through 
all Poland, was too well known to act as a secret 
propagandist in his own country ; so in order to 
throw dust in the eyes of Russia and Prussia he 
retired to Italy for some months. In Florence he 
found Niemcewicz. Niemcewicz tells how one night 
as he sat reading by his lamp the door burst open, 
the Polish greeting, " Praised be Jesus Christ," 
rang on the exile's ear, and a former colleague of 
the poet's hurried in with the simple words : "I 
have come for Kosciuszko." ^ But the last act 

I J. Niemcewicz, Recollections of My Tin%es, Paris, 1848 (Polish). 



THE EVE OF THE RISING 95 

was played out in Dresden, that for long after 
Ko^ciuszko's day remained a stronghold of Polish 
emigration. While Kosciuszko was taking final 
deliberation there with Kollontaj and Ignacy Potocki, 
t wo Pole s came straight from Poland, and on their 
knees besougkL-^^sciuszko to give the word. The 
moment was now or never. PlacarHs~were being 
fastened mysteriously on the walls of Warsaw, 
calling to the Poles to rise. Patriotic writings were 
scattered broadcast, patriotic articles printed, in 
spite of the rigorous Russian censorship, in the Polish 
papers. Plays were acted in the theatre whose 
double meaning, uncomprehended by the Russians 
who sat in crowds in the audience, were fiery 
appeals to PpUsh patriotism. The streets of Warsaw, 
all Poland and Lithuania, were seething with agita- 
tion and secret hope. The suspicions of Igelstrom 
were aroused. He resolved to take over the arsenal 
in Warsaw and to disarm and demobilize the Polish 
army. In this dilemma Kosciuszko was compelled 
to throw his all on one card or to fail. He there- 
fore decided^ on the war ; and in March_i794 he 
re-e ntered Poland as the champion of her freedom. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE RISING OF KO^CIUSZKO 



A BARN in the vicinity of the city has long been 
shown as the place where Kosciuszko slept the 
night before he entered Cracow. The Polish general, 
Madahnski, who by a ruse had evaded the Russian 
order to disarm, was the first to rise. At the head 
of his small force, followed by a hot Russian pursuit, 
he triumphantly led his soldiers down towards 
Cracow . At the news of his approach the Russian 
garrison evacuated the town, and Kosciuszko entered 
its walls a few hours after the last Russian soldier 
had left it, at midday on March 23^794. It 
had been intended to convene the meetmgof the 
citizens at the town hall on that same day ; but 
the Act of the proclamation of the Rising proved to 
be so erroneously printed that it could not be pub- 
lished, mainly because Kosciuszko was not an adept 
at putting his jdeas intojwriting, and the numerous 
corrections were too much for the printers. The 
night was spent by Kosciuszko in rewriting the 
manifesto which was to travel all over Poland, 
which was to be proclaimed from the walls and 
pulpits of PoHsh town and village, and despatched 

96 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 97 

to the governments of Europe. The room yet 
remains where he passed those hours in the house 
of General Wodzicki who, when commanded by 
Russia to disband his regiments, had at Kosciuszko's 
instigation secretly kept them together, paying them 
out of his own pocket, in readiness for the Rising. 

The morning of March 24th_ dawned. With 
Wodzicki and several other soldiers, Kosciuszko 
assisted at a low Mass in the Capuchin church, 
where the officiating priest blessed the leader's 
sword. " God grant me to conquer or die," were 
Kosciuszko's words, as he received^" the" weapon 
from the monk's hand. At ten o'clock he quietly 
walked to the town hall. From all quarters of the 
city dense throngs had poured into the market- 
place, and pressed outside the town hall, over- 
flowing on to its steps, surging into its rooms. In 
front of his soldiers Kosciuszko stood before the 
crowds on the stone now marked by a mem.orial 
tablet, upon which on each anniversary of March 24th 
the Poles lay wreaths. That day, that scene, remain 
engraved for ever among the greatest of Poland's 
memories. As far as Kosciuszko's gaze rested he-saw 
his countrymen and countrywomen with eyes turned 
to him as to the deliverer of themselves and of their 
country, palpitating for the moment that he was 
about to announce, many of them wearing his por- 
trait and carrying banners with the inscriptions : 
" Freedom or Death," " For our rights and liberty," 
" For Cracow and our country," or " Vivat Kos- 
ciuszko." The drums were rolled, and in the midst 
of a dead silence the army took the oath of the 
Rising, 

"I, N. N., swear that I will be faithful to the 

7 



98 KOSCIUSZKO 

Polish nation, and obedient to Tadeusz Kosciuszko, 
the Commander-in-Chief, who has been summoned 
by this nation to the defence of the freedom, Hberties, 
and independence of our country. So help me God 
and the innocent Passion of His Son." 

Then Kosciuszko himself stepped forward. With 
bared head, his eyes lifted to heaven and his hands 
resting on his sword, standing in plain civilian garb 
before his people, surrounded by no pomp or retinue, 
in the simplicity that was natural to hira^the new 
dictator of _Poland in his turn took his 6ath/: 
, " I, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, swear in the sight of 
•p God to the whole Polish nation that I will use the 
power entrusted to me for the personal oppression 
of none, but will only use it for the defence of the 
integrity of the boundaries, the regaining of the 
independence of the nation, and the solid establish- 
ment of universal freedom. So help me God and 
the innocent Passion of His Son." 

He then went inside the town hall. There he 
was greeted by cries of " Long live Kosciuszko ! 
Long live the defender of our country ! " When 
silence was restored he delivered a speech, the exact 
J_erms of which are not accurately recorded ; but 
it is known that he demanded of every class in the 
country to rally to the national banner — nobles, 
burghers, priests, peasants, Jews — and that he placed 
himself at the disposal of his people without requiring 
of them any oath, for, said he, both he and they 
were united in one common interest. Then he 
ordered the formal Act of the Rising to be read. 
It was received with an ~outbursF~of applause, and 
the clamour of rejoicing rang to the skies. 

This Act was in part grafted on Kosciuszko's 



y 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 99 

personal observation of the American Declaration 
of Independence, but only in part. Kosciuszko's 
own intensely Polish soul speaks through the docu- 
ment — the anguish of a Pole at the sight of his 
country's wrongs, the cry of a desperate but un- 
despairing patriotism, the breathing of the spirit 
that should bring new life. 

" The present condition of unhappy Poland is 
known to the world" — so the Act opens. "The 
iniquity of two neighbouring Powers and the crimes 
of traitors to the country have plunged her into 
this abyss. Resolved upon the destruction of the 
Polish name, Catherine II, in agreement with the 
perjured Frederick William, has filled up the measure 
of her crimes." 

The treatment of Poland at the hands of Russia 
and Prussia is then recapitulated in accents of the 
burning indignation that such a recital would 
necessarily evoke. Of Austria Kosciuszko makes 
no mention, for the reason that he believed, erro- 
neously, as he was to learn by bitter experience, 
that her sympathies could be enlisted for the 
national movement. 

" Overwhelmed with this weight of misfortune, 
injured more by treachery than by the power of the 
weapons of the enemies . . . having lost our country 
and with her the enjoyment of the most sacred 
rights of freedom, of^safety, of ownership, ahke 
of ouT persons and of pur property, deceived and 
played upon by some states, abandoned by others, 
we, Poles, citizens, inhabitants of the palatinate of 
Cracow, consecrating to our country our lives as 
the only possession which tyranny has not yet torn 
from us, are about to take those last and violent 



a'^cI 



100 KOSCIUSZKO 

measures which patriotic despair dictates to us. 
Having, therefore, the unbroken determination to 
die and find a grave in the ruins of our own country 
or to deUver our native land from the depredations 
of tyranny and a shameful yoke, we declare in the 
sight of God, in the sight of the whole human race, 
and especially before you, O nations, by whom 
liberty is more highly prized than all other posses- 
sions in the world, that, employing the undenied 
I right of resistance to tyranny and armed oppression, 
I we all, in one national, civic and brotherly spirit, 
^ unite our strength in one ; and, persuaded that the 
happy result of our great undertaking depends chiefly 
on the strictest union between us all, we renounce 
all prejudices and opinions which hitherto have 
divided or might divide the citizens, the inhabitants 
of one land and the sons of one country, and we 
all promise each other to be sparing of no sacrifice 
and means which only the holy love of liberty can 
provide to men rising in despair in her defence. 
V " The deliverance of Poland from the foreign 

0: soldier, the restoration and sajeguardin g of the 
\ integrity of her boundaries, the extirpation of 'all 

oppression and usurpation, whether foreign or domes- 
tic, the firm foundation of national freedom and of 
the independence of theJRepublic : — such is the holy 
ft im of oj ir-Kising," 

To ensure its success and the safety of the country 
Kosciuszko was elected as Po land's military leade r 
and he r civil he ad, with the direction that he should 
nommate a National Council to be under his supreme 
authority. The proclamation then enters into the 
details of his functions and those of the Council. 
He alone was responsible for the military conduct 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 101 

of_thie_jffiax. Its financial management, the levy of 
taxes for its support, internal order and the adminis- 
tration of justice, were under the jurisdiction of 
the Council, to which was entrusted the task of 
endeavouring to gain foreign help and of " directing 
public opinion and diffusing the national spirit so 
that Country and Liberty may be the signal to all 
the inhabitants of Polish soil for the greatest sacri- 
fices." All those who should act in any way against 
the Rising were to be punished by death. Emphasis 
was laid on the fact that the government was pro- 
visional, to rule only until the enemy should be finally 
driven out of Poland, and that it held_no^ power 
of making a fresh constitution. " Any sucli act 
will be considered by usas a usurpation of the national 
sovereignty, similar to that against which at the 
sacrifice of our lives we are now rising." The head 
of the government and the National Council were 
bound by the terms of the Act " to instruct the 
nation by frequent proclamations on the true state 
of its affairs, neither conceahng nor softening the 
most unfortunate events. Our despair is full, and 
the love of our country unbounded. The heaviest 
misfortunes, the mightiest difficulties, will not succeed 
in weakening and breaking the virtue of the nation 
and the courage of her citizens. 

" We all mutually promise one another and the 
whole Polish nation steadfastness in the enterprise, 
fidelity to its principles, submission to the national 
rulers specified and described in this Act of our 
Rising. We conjure the commander of the armed 
forces and the Supreme Council for the love of their 
country to use every means for the liberation of 
the nation and the preservation of her soil. Laying 



102 KOSCIUSZKO 

in their hands the disposal of our persons and pro- 
perty for such time as the war of freedom against 
despotism, of justice against oppression and tyranny, 
shall lastj._w.e,. desire that they always have present 
this gfeattruth^: that the preservation of a people 
is the higHesTTaw." ^ '^ 

For th e first time in Poland — and it would have 
been an equal novelty in most other countries of 

,^ the period — noble s and pe asants side by sid e signed 
their adhesioiTto th e Act a mong thousands^of signa- 
tures. The levy of the military forces, the arrange- 
ments for the taxation and the necessary business 
of the Rising, were at once set on foot, and Kos- 
ciuszko spent the rest of March 24th in these affairs 
and in his heavy correspondence. On the same 
day he sent out four more speci al address es, one 
to the Polish_and_ Lithuanian armies, a second to 
the citizens of the nation, a third to the Polish_clergy, 
and a fourth to the women_of_Po]and. 

In the manifestos that Ko^ciuszko issued all 
through the course of the Rising there is not only 
the note of the trumpet-call, bidding the people 
grapple with a task that their leader promises them 
will be no easy one ; there is something more — a 
hint of the things that are beyond, an undercurrent 
of the Polish spirituality that confer upon these 
national proclamations their peculiarly Polish quality, 
emanating as they do from the pen of a patriot, 
whose character is typically and entirely Polish. 

\ K psciuszko a ppeals_alwa.ys- to^the id^a^ Jto the secret 
and sacred faiths of men^s^earts ; but with that 
strong practical sense with which his enthusiasm 
was tempered and ennobled. 

I Act of the Rising. T. Korzon, Kokciuszko. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 103 

" Each of us has often sworn to be faithful to 
our mother country " — thus runs his manifesto to the 
Pohsh and Lithuanian armies. " Let us keep this 
faith with her once more, now when the oppressors, 
not satisfied with the dismemberment of our soil, 
would tear our weapons from us, and expose us 
unarmed to the last misery and scorn. Let us turn 
those weapons against the breasts of our enemies, 
let us raise our country out of slavery, let us restore 
the sanctity of the name of Pole, independence to 
the nation, and let us merit the gratitude of our 
native land and the glory dear to a soldier. 

" Summoned by you I stand, comrades, at your 
head. I have given my life to you ; your valour and 
patriotism are the surety for the happiness of our 
beloved country. , . . Let us unite more strongly, 
let us unite the hearts, hands, and endeavours of 
the inhabitants of the whole land. Treachery thrust 
our weapon from our hands ; let virtue raise again 
that weapon, and then shall perish that disgraceful 
yoke under which we groan. 

" Comrades, can you endure that a foreign oppres- 
sor should disperse you with shame and ignominj^ 
carry off honest men, usurp our arsenals, and harass 
the remainder of our unhappy fellow-countrymen 
at will ? No, comrades, come with me ; glory and 
the sweet consolation of being the saviours~oF]your 
country await"you. r~give you~my word that my 
zeal will endeavour to equal yours. . . . 

" To the nation and to the country alone do you 
owe fidelity. She calls upon us to defend her. In 
her name I send you my commands. _ With you, 
beloved comrades, I take for our ^^tchwom : Death 
or Vic tory ! I trust in you and in the nation which 



104 KOSCIUSZKO 

has resolved to die rather than longer groan in 
shameful slavery," ^ 

To^ the citizens^ he wrote : 

" Fellow-citizens ! Summoned so often by you 
to save our beloved country, I stand by your will 
at your head, but I shall not be able to break the 
outraging yoke of slavery if I do not receive the 
speediest and the most courageous support from 
you. Aid me then with your whole strength, and 
hasten to the banner of our country. One zeal in 
one interest ought to take possession of the hearts 
of all. Sacrifice to the country a part of your 
possessions which hitherto have not been yours, but 
the spoils of a despot's soldiers." 
( He begs them to give men, weapons, horses, linen, 
j provisions, to the national army, and then proceeds : 

" The last moment is now here, when despair in 
the midst of shame and infamy lays a weapon in 
our hands. Only in the contempt of death is the 
hope of the bettering of our fate and that of the 
future generations. . . . The first step to the casting 
off of slavery is the risk taken to become free. The 
first step to victory is to know your own strength. 
. . . Citizens ! I expect all from your zeal, that you 
will with your whole hearts join the holy league 
which neither foreign intrigue nor the desire for 
rule, but only the love of freedom, has created. 
Wh oso is no t_with us js_agamst us. ... I have 
sworn to the nation that. I will use the power 
entrusted to me for the private oppression of none, 
but I here declare that whoever_ ^cts ag ainst our 
league shall be delivered over as a traitor and an 
enemy" of the~^ co unt ry~to the criminal tribunal 

I March 24, 1794. Given in Letters ofKosciuszko, ed. L. Siemienski. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 105 

established by the Act of the nation. We have 
aheady sinned too much by forbearance, and mainly 
by reason of that policy public crime has scarcely 
ever been punished." ^ 

The man who wrote thus was the strictest of 
rmAitaJX-^isciplmaria^ and yet he detested blood- 
shed and openly condemned_j,ll revolutionary excess. 
At a later moment in the war theTriend^who shared 
his tent tells how Kosciuszko struggled with him- 
self through a sleepless night in the doubt as 
to whether he had done well to condemn a certain 
traitor to the capital punishment which he could 
never willingly bring himself to inflict. 

The manifesto to the clergy is on the ordinary 
lines. In that to the wornen of Poland the ever- 
courteous and chivalrous Kosciuszko speaks in the 
following terms : 

" Ornament of the human race, fair sex ! I 
truly suffer at the sight of your anxiety for the 
fate of the daring resolution which the Poles are 
taking for the liberation of our country. Your 
tears which that anxiety draws forth from tender 
hearts penetrate the heart of your compatriot who 
is consecrating himself to the common happiness. 
Permit me, fellow-citizenesses, to give you my 
idea, in which may be found the gratification of 
your tenderness and the gratification of the public 
necessity. Such is the lot of oppressed humanity 
that it cannot keep its rights or regain^them other- 
wise than by offerings painful and costly to sensitive 
hearts,^ sacrificing themselves entirely for the cause 
of freedom, 

" Your brothers, your sons, your husbands, are 

I March 24, 1794. Op. cit. 



106 KOSCIUSZKO 

arming for war. Our blood is to make your happi- 
ness secure. Women ! let your efforts stanch its 
shedding. I beg you for the love of humanity to 
make lint and bandages for the wounded. That 
offermg "from laiF^hands will relieve the sufferings 
of the wounded and spur on courage itself." ^ 

Kosciuszko's appeals to the nation soon found 
their response. Recruits flocked to the army, and 
money, weapons, clothing, gifts of all descriptions 
came pouring in. Polish ladies brought their jewels 
to the commander or sold them for the public 
fund ; men and women cheerfully parted with 
their dearest treasures. The inventories range from 
such contributions as four horses with a month's 
fodder from a priest, " five thousand scythes " given 
by a single individual, couples of oxen, guns and 
pistols, to bundles of lint, old handkerchiefs, and 
what was probably the most valued possession of 
its owner, set down in the list of donations as " the 
gold watch of a certain citizen for having distin- 
guished himself at Kozubow," where on March 25th 
one of the Polish detachments had engaged the 
Russians. 

In the course of these patriotic presentations 
there occurred an episode that stands out among 
the many picturesque incidents in the romantic 
story of Kosciuszko's Rising. Three PoHsh boatmen 
came to the town hall to offer Kosciuszko twenty 
of their primitive flat-bottomed barges. Hearing of 
their arrival, Kosciuszko pushed his way through 
the crowds thronging the building, till he reached 
the ante-room where stood the peasants in their 

' Cf. K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection. 
Vienna, 1909 (Polish), 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 107 

rough sheepskin coats and mud-stained top-boots, 
" Come near me, Wojciech Sroki, Tomasz Brandys, 
and Jan Grzywa," he cried, " that I may thank you 
for your offering. I regret that I cannot now satisfy 
the wish of your hearts [by using the barges] ; but, 
God helping and as the war goes on, then will our 
country make use of your gift." The peasants were 
not to be baulked of their desire to give their all 
t^ Poland. The spokesman of the trio, followed by 
his comrades, shook into his sheepskin cap the little 
sum of money that they had managed to scrape 
together and, smiUng, handed it to Kosciuszko, 
apologizing in his homely dialect for the poorly 
stuffed cap. Kosciuszko flung the cap to an officer 
who stood by his side, crying, " I must have my 
hands free to press you, my beloved friends, to my 
heart." Drawn by that personal fascination which, 
united to the patriot's fire, invariably captivated 
all those who cameTnto contact with Kosciuszko, 
the simple boatmen fell on their knees before him, 
kissing his hands and feet. 

Kosciuszko remained in C racow until the jest of 
April , overwhelmed from six in the morning till 
far into the night by the affairs of the Rising, col- 
lecting his army, sending broadcast secret letters 
hidden in pincushions or otherwise concealed by 
the officers to whom they were entrusted, directing 
the supremely important task of concentrating the 
scattered Polish regiments that were with varying 
success fighting their way towards him. He was 
working against time with the. Russians forming up 
against his scanty numbers. " For the love of our 
country make haste," is his ever-recurrent cry in 
his directions to his subordinates. On the ist of 



108 KO^CIUSZKO 

April he left Cracow at the head of his small army, 
prepared to take the field against the enemy who 
was about to attack Madalinski. At his camp 
outside Cracow his long-cherished desire was ful- 
filled ; bands of peasants, some two thousand strong, 
marched in, armed "with their pikes and the 
scythes that won them the name, famous in Polish 
annals, of the " Reapers of Death." Mountaineers, 
too, came down in their brilliantly coloured garb 
from the Polish Carpathians. To all these men 
from the fields and the hills Kosciuszko became not 
only an adored chief, but an equally beloved brother 
in arms. 

On the day following the advent of the peasants, 
on the 4tliof^ April, was fought the famous battle 
of Raclawice. 

^T^osciuszko was no invincible hero of legend. His 
military tale nt was undou bt ed, but not superlative 
and~not Inf allibl e ; yet Raclawice was~tEe"tnumph 
of~a~great idea, the vi ctory, under th e strength of 
the ideal, of^ few_against many. It lives as one of 
those moments in a nation's history that will only 
die with the nation that inspired it. The peasants 
turned the tide of the hotly fought battle. " Peasants, 
take those cannon for me. God and our country ! " 
was Kosciuszko' s cry of thunder. Urging each other 
on by the homely names they were wont to call across 
their native fields, the peasants swept like a hurricane 
upon the Russian battery, carrying all before them 
with their deadly scythes, while Kosciuszko rode 
headlong at their side. They captured eleven cannon, 
and cut the Russian ranks to pieces. Even in our 
own days the plough has turned up the bones of 
those who fell in the fight, and graves yet mark the 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 109 

battle lines. In the camp that night Kosciuszko, 
with bared head, thanked the army in the name of 
Poland for its valour, ending his address with the 
cry, " Vivat the nation !_ Vivat Liberty!" taken 
up by the soldiers with the acclamation. " Vivat 
Kosciuszko ! " Kosciuszko then publicly conferred 
upon the peasant Bartos, who had been the first 
to reach the Russian battery — he perished at Szcze- 
kociny — promotion and nobility with the name of 
Glowacki. Before all the army he flung off his 
uniform and donned, as a sign of honour to his 
peasant soldiers, their dress, the sukman, which he 
henceforth always wore — the long loose coat held 
with a broad girdle and reaching below the knee. 

" The sacred watchword of nation and of free- 
dom," wrote Kosciuszko in his report of the battle 
to the Pohsh nation, " moved the soul and valour 
of the soldier fighting for the fate of his country 
and for her freedom." He commends the heroism of 
the young volunteers in their baptism of fire. He 
singles out his generals, MadaHnski and Zajonczek, 
for praise. Characteristically he breathes no hint 
of his own achievements. 

" Nation ! " he concludes. " Feel at last thy 
strength ; put it wholly forth. Set thy will on being 
free and independent. By unity and courage thou 
shalt reach this honoured end. Prepare thy soul 
for victories and defeats. In both of them the spirit 
of true patriotism should maintain its strength and 
energy. All that remains to me is to praise thy 
Rising and to serve thee, so long as Heaven permits 
me to live." ^ 

^ ' K. Bartoszewicz, History of Koiciuszko's Insurrection, 



110 KOSCIUSZKO 

The Polish army was badly broken at Raclawice, 
and Kosciuszko's immediate affair was its reorgan- 
ization ; but the moral effect of the victory 
was enormous. Polish nobles opened their private 
armouries and brought out the family weapons. 
Labourers armed themselves with spades and shovels. 
Women fought with pikes. The name of Kos- 
ciuszko was alone enough by now to gather men to 
his side. " Kosciuszko ! Freedom ! Our country ! " 
became the morning and the evening greeting 
between private persons. 

After the battle of Raclawice, Kosciuszko at once 
issued further calls to arms, especially urging the 
enrolment of the peasants. This measure was to 
be effected, so Kosciuszko insisted, with the greatest 
consideration for the feelings of the peasants, all 
violence being scrupulously avoided, while the land- 
owners were requested to care for the families of 
the breadwinners during their absence at the war. 
The general levy of the nation was proclaimed. In 
every town and village at the sound of ^the^ alarm 
bell the inhabitants were to rally to the public 
meeting-place with scythes, pikes or axes, and place 
themselves at the disposition of the appointed leaders. 
Thus did Kosciuszko endeavour to realize his 
favqurit£_.pLOJect of an army of the jjeople. 

Unable for lack of soldiers to follow up his victory, 
Kosciuszko remained in camp, training his soldiers, 
sending summonses to the various provinces to rise, 
and seeing to the internal affairs of government. 
The oaks still stand under which the PoHsh leader 
sat in sight of the towers of Cracow, as he cast his 
plans for the salvation of Poland. The spot is 
marked by a grave where lie the remains of soldiers 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 111 

who died at Raclawice ; and on one of the trees a 
PoHsh officer cut a cross, still visible in recent years. 

Kosciuszko's character held in marked measure 
that most engaging quality of his nation, what we ^ jji^^ 
may term the PoHsh sweetness^ but it never degen- {'^ jj^ 
erated into softness. His severity to those who '^'^ 
held back when their country required them was 
inexorable. 

" I cannot think of the inactivity of the citizens 
of Sandomierz without emotions of deep pain," he 
v/rites to that province, which showed no great 
readiness to join the Rising. " So the love of your 
country has to content itself with enthusiasm with- 
out deed, with fruitless desires, with the sufferings of 
a weakness which cannot take a bold step ! Believe 
me, the first one among you who proclaims the 
watchword of the deliverance of our country, and 
courageously gives the example of himself, will 
experience how easy it is to awaken in men courage 
and determination when an aim deserving of respect 
and instigations to virtue only are placed before 
them. Compatriots ! This is not now the time to 
guard formalities and to approach the work of the 
national Rising with a lagging step. To arms, Poles, 
to arms ! God has already blessed the Polish 
weapons, and His powerful Providence has mani- 
fested in what manner this country must be freed 
from the enemy, how to be free and independent 
depends only on our will. Unite, then, all your 
efforts to a universal arming. Who isnot with us 
is against us. I have believed that no PoTe~witr -^ 
beTn that case. If that hope deceives me, and there 
are found men who would basely deny their country, 
the country will^jdisown them and will give jthem 



112 KOSCIUSZKO 

over to the national vengeance, to their own shame 
and severe responBibTtrt5C"^ 

This language ran like a fiery arrow through the 
province : it rose. On all sides the country rose. 
Kosciuszko's envoy carried tO"on^~Tjf^the FoUsli 
officers in Warsaw the terse message: " You have 
a heart and virtue. Stand at the head of the work. 
The country will perish by delay. Begin, and you 
will not repent it. T. Kosciuszko." * By the time 
this letter reached its destination Warsaw had 
already risen. "^ 

For weeks the preparation for the Rising in War- 
saw had been stealthily carried forward. Igelstrom 
had conceived the plan of surrounding the churches 
by Russian soldiers on Holy Saturday, disarming 
what was left of the Polish army in the town, and 
taking over the arsenal. The secret was let out 
too soon by a drunken Russian officer, and the Polish 
•patriots, headed by the shoemaker Kihnski, gave 
the signal. Two thousand, three, hundred and forty 
Poles flew to arms against nine thousand Russian 
soldiers. Then ensued the terrible street fighting, 
in which Kilinski was seen at every spot where the 
fire was hottest. Each span of earth, in the graphic 
phrase of a Polish historian, became a battlefield. 3 
Through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday the 
city was lit up by conflagrations, while its pave- 
ments streamed with blood. When the morning of 
Holy Saturday broke the Russians were out of the 
capital of Poland, and all the Easter bells in Warsaw 
were crashing forth peals of joy. Stanislas Augustus, 

» K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection. 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 

3 A. Choloniewski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Lwow, 1902 (Polish). 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 113 

who a few weeks earlier Md__atJg£lstrom^s bidding 
puBEcTy^roclaimed Kosciuszko to be a rebel and an 
outlaw, liow^ wen t over to the winn ing _side . On 
Easter Sunda}' the cathedral rang to the strains of 
the Te Deum, at which the King assisted, and on 
the same day the citizens of Warsaw signed the Act 
of the Rising and the oath of allegiance to Kos- 
ciuszko, The news was brought into Kosciuszko's 
camp in hot haste by an officer from Warsaw. It 
was in the evening. Drums beat, the camp re- 
echoed with song, and on the following morning a 
solemn Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated. No 
salvos were fired, in order to spare the powder. 
" Henceforth," joyfully cried Kosciuszko in a mani- 
festo to his country, " the gratitude of the nation 
will join their names " — those of Mokronowski and 
Zakrzewski, the President of Warsaw, who had been 
mainly responsible for the city's deliverance — "with 
the love of country itself. Nation ! These are the 
glorious deeds of thy Rising ; but," adds Kosciuszko, 
whose foresight and sober judgment were never 
carried away by success, '^remember this rfruth^ 
that thou hast done nothing so long as there is left 
anything still to be done." ^ 

^'Three days^ after Warsaw was freed, Wilno, with 
, a handful of soldiers rising in the nightr drove out 
the Russian garrison, and the Russian army retreated 
through Lithuania, marking their way by atrocities 
which were but a foretaste of what awaited in no 
distant future that most unhappy land. 

" The powerful God," says the pronunciamento 
of the Provisional Deputy Council of Wilno — 
" delivering the Polish nation from the cruel yoke 

' Kokciuszko. Periodical Publication, 1893-6. Cracow (Polish). 

8 



114 KO^CIUSZKO 

of slavery has, O citizens of Lithuania, sent Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko, our fellow-countryman, to the holy soil 
to fulfil His will. By reason of the valour of that 
man whose very dust your posterity will honour 
and revere, the liberties of the Poles have been 
born again. At the name alone of that knightly 
man the Polish land has taken another form, another 
spirit has begun to govern the heart of the dweller 
in an oppressed country. , . , To him we owe our 
country ! To him we owe the uplifting of ourselves, 
to his virtue, to his zeal and to his courage." ^ 

The burden that rested on the shoulders of Kos- 
ciuszko 'was~bne that would have seemed beyond the 
mastery of one man. He had toj;aise_.aiL army, find 
money, am munit ion, horses,_43ro visions. He had to 
initiate and organize the Risiiigjii^ eyery_.£Ioyince, 
bearing in mind and appealing to the distinctive 
individualities of each, dealing in his instructions 
not merely with the transcendentally difficult material 
matters of the Rising, but with involved moral 
questions. He was the military_chief, responsible 
fo r the wh ole plan_of action of a war for national 
existence. He was the civil chief, chosen to rule 
the nation when the most skiHuTsteering of the ship 
of state was requisite — when the government of 
the country, owing to dismemberment, foreign in- 
intrigues, foreign invasion, internal disunion, was 
in a condition of chaos. The soundest political 
acumen, the most unerring tact, was exacted of 
him. He must needs adopt whatever political 
measures he deemed necessary, no matter how hard 
of execution : many of these were i nnova tions that 
he daringly carried out^gaJjist_eyeix!^^iIu3ice and 

* K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko' s Insurrection. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 115 

tradition, because it was the innermost conviction 
of his soul that they would save his nation. No 
ddiiFf ~ Kosciuszko's great talent for_ organizatii?n 
and appHcation, and the "robust ^rength of his 
rchafacterrivould, in part at least, have borne him 
through his herculean task ; but it was in the power ^ "7 ' 
^of the idea that we must find the key"fo his whole p 
lea^dership of the struggle for his nation which in' > 
the histoiy of that nation bears his name. Where . 
Poland was concerned obstacles were not allowed | 
to exist — or rather, were there merely to be overcome, j 
Personal desires, individual frictions, all must go [ 
down before the only object that counted. j 

" Only the one necessity," he writes to Mokro- 
nowski, reassuring the General in brotherly and sym- 
pathetic style as to some unpleasantness that the 
latter was anticipating — for, with all his devotion 
to the common end, Kosciuszko never failed to take 
to his heart the private griefs, even the trifling 
interests, of those around him — " the one considera- 
tion of the country in danger has caused me to 
expect that, putting aside all personal vexations, 
you will sacrifice yourself entirely to the universal 
good. . . . Not I, but our country, beseeches and 
conjures you to do this. Surely at her voice all 
delays, all considerations, should perish." ^ 

Impressing upon a young prince of the Sapieha 
family, at the outset of the Rising, that he " must 
not lose even a minute of time . . . although," 
Kosciuszko says, " the forces be weak, a beginning 
must be made, and those forces will increase of 
themselves in the defence of the country. I began 
with one battalion, and in a few days I had col- 

' Letters of Kosciuszko. 



116 KOSCIUSZKO 

lected an army. Let the gentry go out on horse- 
back, and the people with scythes and pikes." Let 
the officers who had been trained to a different 
service abroad put aside preconceived ideas, and 
fight in the methods demanded of a popular army.^ 

Or, far on towards the end of the Rising, Ko^- 
ciuszko, calling upon the citizens of Volhynia to 
rise for the Poland from which they had been torn 
away, speaks thus : " You have no army in your 
own land, but you have men, and those men will 
soon become an army." He tells them that the 
Poles who rose in Great Poland were not deterred 
by the differences of religious belief between them. 
" These hinder not at all the love of country and 
of freedom. Let each honour God according to 
his faith " — Kosciuszko himself was a devoutCatholic 
— " and there is no faith that would forbid a man 
to be free." ^ 

One of the earliest measures that Kosciuszko 
inaugurated as the head of the provisional govern- 
ment of his nation was in relation to the object 
only less dear to him than the liberation of Poland : 
that of the serfs. With time the Polish peasant 
had sunk to the level of those in neighbouring 
countries, although the condition of the serf in 
Poland was never as deplorable as, for instance, 
that which obtained in Russia. France had only 
just effected the relief of her lower classes — and 
this by an orgy of revolt and ferocity. Kosciuszko 
now came forward with his reforms. The forced 
labour of the peasant who could not bear arms was 
redu£ed3Q^§lIth^^_a_hjlfofJjjj^^ oblig ation^ 

1 Letters of Kosciuszko. April 14, May 12. 

2 K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 117 

and for those who could take part in the national 
war, abolished. The peasant was -now to enjoy the 
full personal protection of the law, arid "the right 
of ~tocmnotian when he cKoseT' Possession of his 
own land was assured to him, and heavy penalties 
were inflicted upon the landlords should they be 
guilty of any acts of oppression. The local authorities 
were bidden to see that the farms of those who 
joined Kosciuszko's army should be tended during 
their military service, and that the soil, " the source 
of our riches," should not fall into neglect. The 
people were exhorted, in the spirit, always incul- 
cated by Kosciuszko, of mutual good-feeling and a 
common love for Poland, to show their gratitude 
for the new benefits bestowed upon them by loyalty 
to the squires^ and by diligence in " work, in hus- 
bandry, in the defence of the country." The dictator 
then ordered the clergy of both the Latin and Greek 
rites to read these decrees from the pulpit for the 
course of four Sundays, and directed the local 
commissions to send emissaries proclaiming them 
to the peasants in every parish and hamlet. Thus 
Kosciuszko took up the work that the Constitution 
of the 3rd of May had more vaguely initiated, 
and that had been terminated by Russian and 
Prussian interference. He could not at this juncture 
push his reforms further. Had he brought in a 
total reversal of hitherto existing conditions while 
a national insurrection of which the issues were 
uncertain was proceeding, the confusion engendered 
would have gone far to defeat the very object it 
was his desire to bring about, 

^ Kosciuszko promulgated these acts from camp 
on May 7,''i794. About the same time he issued a 



118 KOSCIUSZKO 

mandate, requesting the churches and convents to 
contribute all the church silver that was not posi- 
tively indispensable in the Divine service to the 
national treasury. Fresh coinage was stamped, with 
on the one side the device of the old Polish Republic, 
on the other that new and sacred formula : " The 
Liberty, Integrity and Independence of the Republic, 
17947" The term "Republic" as applied to Poland 
was, of course, no subversive title, such being the 
time-honoured name by which the Pohsh state had 
been known through its history. 

Tq^ KosciuszkQ__ihe"^wa:r-^wtts "E" holy erne. Its 
object was, together with the restoration of national 
independence, that of conferring happiness and free- 
dom on every^xlass, religion,^ and individual in the 
country. Take, for example, Kosciuszko's manifesto 
to the citizens of the district of Brze^c, directing 
that the religion of the Ruthenes of the Greek- 
Oriental rite should be respected : words that in 
the light of the subsequent history of a people who 
have be?h, with fatal results, the victims first of 
Russian, and then of German, intrigue, read with 
a startling significance. 

" In this wise attach a people, deceived by the 
fanaticism of Russia, to our country. They will be 
more devoted to their fellow-countrymen when they 
see that the latter treat with them like brothers 
. . . and that they open to them the entrance, as 
to common fellow-citizens, to the highest ofiices. 
Assure all the Oripn tal Greek s in my name that 
they shall_have_ in_..C5mmpn with us every liberty 
which freedom gives men to enjoy, and l;hat their 
episcopaTe'withT'^il^ts^ authority according to the 
laws of the Constitutional Diet shall be restored to 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 119 

them. Let them use all the influence they may 
have on the people of their religion to convince 
them that we, who are fighting for hberty, 
desire to make all the inhabitants of our land 
happy." ^ 

He wrote to the clergy of the Ruthenian Greek 
Orthodox rite, laying emphasis on the persecution 
that their faith had suffered from Russia and on 
the liberty that Poland promised them. " Fear 
not that the difference of opinion and rite will hinder 
our loving you as brothers and fellow-countrymen. 
. . . Let Poland recognize in your devotion her 
faithful sons. Thus you have the road open 
before you to your happiness and that of your 
descendants." ^ 

Following all these enactments of Kosciuszko's 
there ensued a curious interchange of communica- 
tions between him and the King of Poland. Stanislas 
Augustus, under the apprehension that he was to 
follow Louis XVI to the scaffold, wrote to Kosciuszko, 
placing the continuance of such shreds of Royal power 
as he possessed at the dictator's arbitration. Once 
again Kosciuszko was called to measure swords with 
his King and sometime patron. This time it was 
Kosciuszko who was in the commanding position. 
His sovereign^ wasjmore or less at his mercy. What 
KiTopinion of the man was is clear frdnrthe scathing 
indictment which his sense of outrage at the betrayal 
of his country tore from his lips as he wrote the 
history of the Ukraine campaign that Stanislas 
Augustus had brought to ruin. Yet this was how 
he answered, at the moment when his power was 
supreme, in a letter dated May 20, 1794 : 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. * Op. cit. 



120 KO^CIUSZKO 

" My Lord King, 

" Just when I was engrossed in the midst of 
so many other labours with the drawing up of the 
organization of the Supreme Council, I received a 
communication from Your Royal Majesty under 
the date of the 5th instant. Having read therein 
that Your Royal Majesty only desires authority and 
importance when and inasmuch as I decide this 
with the nation, as regards my opinion, I frankly 
confess that, entertaining a loyal respect for the 
throne, I hold the person of Your Royal Majesty 
excepted from the power conferred upon me of 
nominating personages to the Supreme Council. 
As to the nation, the conduct of Your Royal Majesty 
in the course of the present Rising, the restored 
public confidence in Your Royal Majesty that was 
weakened by the Confederation of Targowica, the 
constancy with which Your Royal Majesty declares 
that, albeit at the cost of great personal misfortune, 
you will not forsake the country and nation, will . 
contribute, I doubt not, to ^:he securing for Your 
Royal Majesty of the authority in the Diet that 
will be most agreeable to the welfare of the country, 
I have written separately to the Supreme Council 
upon the duty of imparting to Your Royal Majesty 
an account of its chief actions, and this in the con- 
viction that Your Royal Majesty will not only be 
a source of enlightenment to it, but of assistance 
inasmuch as circumstances permit. Likewise the 
needs of Your Royal Majesty which you mentioii at 
the end of your letter I have recommended to the 
attention and care of the Supreme Council. Thanking 
Your Royal Majesty for your good wishes concerning 
my person, I declare that the prosperity of Your 



sfiuastk. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 121 

Royal Majesty is not separated in my heart and 
mind from the prosperity of the country, and I 
assure Your Royal Majesty of my deep respect." ^ 

Until the month of May Kosciuszko had been 
governing single-handed. '~He'^had^ drawn ilp""the 
decrees that were of^such moment to his country 
in the primitive conditions of a camp in a soldier's 
tent, with the collaboration of only his council of 
three friends, Kollontaj, Ignacy Potocki, and Wejssen- 
hof. Throughout his sole dictatorship he had 
combined a scrupulous respect for existing laws 
with a firm declaration of those reforms which must 
be carried out without^elay, if Poland were to win 
in her struggle for freedom. No trace of Jacobinism 
is to be met with in Kosciuszko' s government. 
Defending himself with a hint of wounded feeUng 
against some reproach apparently addressed to him 
by his old friend, Princess Czartoryska : 

" How far you are as yet from knowing my heart ! " 
he answers. " How you wrong my feehngs and 
manner of thinking, and how Httle you credit me 
with foresight and attachment to our country, if 
I could avail myself of such impossible and such 
injurious measures ! My decrees and actions up to 
now might convince you. Men may blacken me 
and our Rising, but God sees that we are _ript q 
beginning a French revolution. My desire^ is to 
destroYltEe~enemy^ I~aSi making sbine temporary 
dispositions, and L.leave the framing of laws Jojhe 
nation." ^ 

The whole country was now rallying round Kos- 
ciuszko. Polish magnates, whose ancestors had 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, » Op. cit. 



122 KOSCIUSZKO 

been heads of armies in the old chivalrous days of 
the Republic of Poland, who had themselves led 
soldiers in the field, came to him, begging to serve 
in the lowest ranks if so be they might serve under 
him. The King's nephew, Prince Jozef Poniatowski, 
under whose command two years ago Kosciuszko 
had fought as a subordinate officer, now placed 
himself unreservedly at Kosciuszko's disposal. The 
King, the nation, were in Kosciuszko^s hands. Yet 
j he remained always the simple Lithuanian so ldier, 
who wore the garb of the peasants, who livedlami- 
liarly with the peasants in his army, treating them as 
his brothers. His letters to his officers are couched 
in the affectionate and intimate terms of an equal 
friendship, reading as though from comrade to 
comrade. " Dear comrade," is, in fact, the title by 
which he addresses them when giving them his 
instructions. Instead of orders and decorations, of 
which he had none at his disposal, he offered them 
snuff-boxes, watches, rings — " I have sent you a 
ring of cat's-eyes that at night it may light you on 
your journey," he writes to Mokronowski — or trifles 
made by the hands of Polish ladies, accompanied 
with a few graceful words spoken from the heart 
that gave the gift its value. He is ever eager to 
bring to public notice the name of any Pole who 
ha^ridbne^~wnr"tjy Ihe 'CounTfyT alwayT^silent on 
his~'^dwn deeds, turning off the prarses"and thanks 
oTTus^eople^to the whole nation or to individuals. 
The style of his commands bears an invariable hall- 
mark of simplicity. " I conjure and entreat you 
for the love of our country," is their usual wording. 
One word, indeed, rings with unwearied reiteration 
through Kosciuszko's pubhc manifestos, in his 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 123 



private correspondence : the love of country: It p 
is not he who cries to the sons of Poland to save 
her ; it is^JPoland hersel f, and lie voices her call, yy 
of which he considered himself but the moutEpiece, 
with a touch of personal warmth for those to whom 
he spoke, which they requited with a passionate 
love. 

" Dear comrade," he writes in the first weeks of 
war to one of his deputies, " those who have begun 
the Rising are in this determination : either to die 
for our country or to deliver her from oppression 
and slavery. I am certain that to your soul, your 
courage, I need say no more. Poland will certainly 
touch your sensitive heart, dear comrade." ^ 

The same tone is conspicuous in Kosciuszko's 
many proclamations to the nation. In these, too, 
he addresses the people of whose destinies he was 
the ruler, who were under his obedience, as his " dear 
comrades," his " fellow-citizens," his " brothers." 
He regarded himself in no other light than that of : 
the servant of his country, equally ready to command ^ 
or to resign his authority, according as her interests 
demanded. Lust of power and personal ambition 
were unknown to him. He was, if we may use the 
expression, out for one object : to save his country ; 
and any interest of his own was in his scheme non- 
existent. " Let no man who prizes virtue," he 
wrote, " desire power. They have laid it in my 
hands at this critical moment. I know not if I 
have merited this confidence, but I do know that 
for me this power js only a weapon for the effectual ^ Q 
defence of my country, and I confess that I long \ ^- 
for its termination as sincerely as for the salvation 

' Letters of Kosciuszko. 



124 KOSCIUSZKO 

of the nation." ^ He yearned not for the sword, 
but for peace and the " Httle garden " of his dreams, 
as he tells a friend. Given that temper of his mind 
and the inherent nobility of his nature, and we 
have the explanation how it is that not one un- 
worthy deed, not a single moral stain, disfigures 
the .^even months^, that , Kosciuszko stood at the 
head of ~ thePoirsh state, beset though he was by 
internal and external problems under which a man 
of less purity of aim and single-heartedness than 
his might well have swerved. 

But for all his native modesty Kosciuszko was too 
conscious of his obUgation to his country to brook 
any infringement of the power he held. Writing a 
sharp rebuke to " the whole principality of Lithuania 
and especially to the Provisional Council of Wilno," 
which he had reason to believe was arrogating to 
itself his functions, he declares that he would be 
" unworthy of the trust " that his nation had con- 
fided to him if he did not " know how to use and 
maintain " his authority. 2 A little later, desirous 
to mitigate this sternness with the suavity more 
congenial to him, he spoke to his native district in 
a different key. 

" The last moment of Poland, her supreme cause, 
salvation or eternal ruin and shame, personal free- 
dom and national independence, or a terrible slavery 
and the groaning of millions of men . . . the destruc- 
tion of the Polish name, or her glorious place in 
the ranks of nations : these are the considerations 
that must take hold of the Polish nation, of you, 
citizens of Lithuania. . . . Poles, now is the moment 

I T. KCrzon, Kosciuszko. 

» K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection, 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 125 

for the amendment of eternal errors. Now is the 
time to be worthy of your ancestors, to forget your- 
selves in order to save the country, to stifle in your- 
selves the base voice of personal interest in order 
to serve the public. Now must you draw forth 
your last strength, your last means, to give freedom 
to your land. . . . Let us know how to die ! And 
what is earthly life ? A transitory and passing 
shadow, subject to a thousand accidents. What 
Pole can live, if he must Hve in the state in which 
till now, with his compatriots, he has been com- 
pelled to Hve ? ... Oh, fellow-countrymen ! If you 
spare your lives, it is that you should be wretched 
slaves ; if you spare your possessions, it is that 
they should be the spoils of the invaders. Who 
can be so deprived of reason or so fearful, as to 
doubt that we shall surely conquer, if we all manfully 
desire to conquer ? 

" Lithuania ! My fellow-countrymen and com- 
patriots ! I was born on your soil, and in the midst 
of righteous zeal for my country more especial affec- 
tion is called forth in me for those among whom 
I began life. . . . Look at the rest of the nation of 
which you are a part. Look at those volunteers, 
already assembling in each province of all the Crown, 
seeking out the enemy, leaving homes and famihes 
for a beloved country, inflamed with the watchword 
of those fighting for the nation : Death or Victory ! 
Once again, I say, we shall conquer ! EarUer or 
later the powerful God humbles the pride of the 
invaders, and aids persecuted nations, faithful to 
Him and faithful to the virtue of patriotism." ^ 

The moment had now arrived — in the May of 

I K. Bartoszewicz, Op. cit. KoUiuszko. Periodical Publication. 



126 KOSCIUSZKO 

1794 — to regularize the Rising and to establish 
the temporary government on a stable and more 
conventional basis. Kosciuszko explained himself 
fully in his proclamation of May 21st to the "citizens 
of Poland and Lithuania " : 

" It has pleased you, citizens, to give me the 
highest proof of confidence, for you have not only 
laid your whole armed strength and the use thereof 
in my hands, but in addition, in the period of the 
Rising, not deeming yourselves to be in the con- 
dition to make a well-ordered choice of members 
for the Supreme National Council, you confided that 
choice to me. The greater the universal confidence 
in me that I behold, the more solicitous I am to 
respond to it agreeably to your wishes and to the 
necessities of the nation. 

" I kept to that consideration in the nomination 
of members of the Council. I desired to make the 
same choice that you yourselves would have made. 
So I looked for citizens who were worthy of the 
public trust : I considered who in private and 
public life had maintained the obligations of un- 
stained virtue, who were steadfastly attached to 
the Rights of the Nation and the Rights of the 
People, who at the time of the nation's misfortunes, 
when foreign oppression and domestic crime drove 
at their will the fate of the country, had most 
suffered for their patriotism and their merits. It 
was such men whom for the most part I summoned 
to the National Council, joining to them persons 
honoured for their knowledge and virtue, and adding 
to them deputies capable of assisting them in their 
onerous obligations." 

He then says that the reason he did not nominate 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 127 

the ^ Council earlier was because he was awaiting 
the whole nation's confirmation of the Act of the 
Rising that had been proclaimed in Cracow, and 
thus " during the first and violent necessities " of 
the Rising he was driven to issue manifestos and 
ordinances on his own responsibility, 

" With joy I see the time approaching when 
nothing shall be able to justify me for the smallest 
infringement of the limits you placed to my power. 
I respect them because they are just, because they 
emanate from your will, which is the most sacred 
law for me. I hope that not only now, but when — 
God grant it ! — having dehvered our country from 
her enemies, I cast my sword under the feet of the 
nation, no one shall accuse me of their transgression." » 

PubHc moraUty did not satisfy Kosciuszko in his 
choice of the men who were to rule the country. 
He would have none to shape her laws and destinies 
whose personal morals were lax. " What do you 
want, Prince ? " were the dry words with which he 
greeted Jozef Poniatowski, when the gay oificer 
came into his camp to offer his sword to the Rising ; 
and it is said that this ungracious reception, widely 
different from Kosciuszko's usual address, was due to 
the fact that he, whose own private Ufe was blame- 
less, was of too Puritan a temper to be able to 
overlook certain notorious aspects of Poniatowski's 
character. 

Still in May Kosciuszko sent Kollontaj and Ignacy 
Potocki to Warsaw, and the National Council assumed 
there_its_lega l. fun ctions. Among its members sat 
not only Kollontaj, Potocki, and those who had 
taken part in the old Polish Diet, former ministers 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



128 KOSCIUSZKO 

of state and high officers, two representatives of 
the clergy of the Latin and Greek rites, but the 
banker Kapostas, who had been the originator of 
the secret confederation that had prepared the 
Rising in Warsaw and who had only narrowly escaped 
Russian imprisonment, and the shoemaker Kilinski. 
Thus fo£^the first time inPolish history artisans 
and burghers were included in the national governing 
body. The assembly was animated by that new 
spirit of democracy in its noblest form in which 
Ko^ciuszko himself was steeped. It carried forward 
the task that the Constitution of the 3rd of May 
had begun and had been forced by Poland's con- 
querors to abandon. Its presidency passed by 
rotation to each member, who called each other 
" citizen," and who were all, without distinction of 
rank and class, treated as equals. They organized the 
Ministry into the ordinary departments, and'ent^red 
into relations with foreign powers, among which 
England, Sweden, and Austria — the latter soon to 
change her face — acknowledged them as the lawful 
government of state. 

Having thus lightened the burden of civil rule by 
securing effective colleagues, Kosciuszko, although 
he did not cease to be the chief dictator of the 
nation, could now more freely devote himself to 
the immediate object of the Rising. 



\ 



CHAPTER VII 

THE RISING OF KO^CIUSZKO 

II 

We have reached the month of Ma3^_i794. 
Kosciuszko and the Russian army under Denisov 
were now at close grips, Denisov repeatedly attacking, 
Kosciuszko beating him off. Communications with 
Warsaw and all the country were impeded. Pro- 
visions were almost impossible to procure. Ko^- 
ciuszko's men went half starved. Burning villages, 
set on fire by Denisov's soldiers, a countryside laid 
waste, were the sight the Poles beheld each day, 
while the homeless peasants crowded into Kosciuszko's 
camp to tell him their piteous stories. Then 
Denisov retreated so swiftly towards the Prussian 
frontier that Kosciuszko, either through the enemy's 
rapidity, or because he was detained by the civil 
affairs of the government with which his hands 
were just then full, and by the no less arduous task 
of organizing the war in the provinces, was not able 
to overtake him. At this moment the Rising 
promised well. The Polish regiments, escaping ffCTn 
Russian garrisons, augmented the number of the 
aimy that, against unheard-of difficulties — short_of 
money, short of all m iUtaiX-reAuJs.ites — Kosciuszko 

^~ 9 129 



130 KOSCIUSZKO 

had by the end of May gathered together. From Kiev, 
under the very eyes of the Russian troops in the 
town. Kopec — who for his share in the national 
war later underwent exile in the penal settlements 
of Kamchatka — led a band of Polish soldiers to 
Kosciuszko's Rising. They had already been in 
communication with the Poles who were preparing 
the Rising in Warsaw, when the news of the outbreak 
of the insurrection reached them. Catherine II at 
once resolved to disarm them and send them to the 
Crimea. Kopec was despatched by the Russian 
authorities to convey to the Polish soldiers flattering 
promises from the Empress of pay and rewards. He 
seized the opportunity for a different purpose, took 
the oath of the Rising from his' compatriots and 
succeeded in leading them out of Kiev. Halting on 
the way at Uszomierz, he repaired in the middle 
of the night to the Carmelite convent, to beg the 
blessing of the old monk, Marek, who had preached 
with the fire of a Bernard the Bar war, and around 
whose white-robed figure among the patriots fighting 
for freedom tales of miracle had gathered. Rising 
from his bed of sickness, the old man went out with 
Kopec, crucifix in hand, to the Polish soldiers, and 
gave them his blessing, adding the words : " Go in 
the name of God and you shall pass through." 
Eluding the strong Russian forces that were on all 
sides, they effected their escape, and, singing the 
ancient battle hymn of Poland, marched to the 
banners of Kosciuszko. 

We have seen that Kosciuszko held the war 

\ as a s acred cr usade. He enforced rig id disciplin e. 

LicencfL^was-oinknown in his camp, where the 

atmosphere, so eyewitnesses have recorded, was 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKQ 131 

that of gaiety and ardour tempered by a grave 
enthusiasm. 

" There is here," writes the envoy whom 
Ko^ciuszko was sending to Vienna and whom he had 
summoned to the camp to receive his instructions, 
" neither braggadocio nor excess. A deep silence 
reigns, great order, great subordination and discipline. 
The entfTusiasnTfor KoscTuszko's person in the camp 
and in the nation is beyond credence. He is 
a simple man, and is one most modest in conver- 
sation, manners, dress. He unites with the greatest 
reloTifridri and enthusiasm for the undertaken 
cause much sang-froid and judgment. It seems 
as though in all that he is doing there is nothing 
temerarious except the enterprise itself. In practical 
details he leaves nothing to chance : everything is 
thought out and combined. Hi s m ay not be a 
transcendental mind, oj^ one sufficiently elastic jor 
politics^ His native good sense is enough for him to 
e"sTimate affairs correctly and to make the best choice 
at the first glance. Only love of his country animates 
him. No other passion has doihinion over him.''^ 

The name of Kosciuszko is linked, not with victory 
but with a defeat more noble than material triumph. 
The watchword he had chosen for the Rising, 
" Death or Victory," was no empty rhetoric; it was 
stern reality. The spring of 1794 saw the insurrection 
opening in its brilliant promise. From May the 
success of an enterprise that could have won through 
with foreign help, and not without it, declined 
Kosciuszko had now to reckon not only with Russia 
Prussia was about to send in her regiments of iron 
against the little Polish army, of which more than 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, 



132 I^pSCIUSZKO 

half were raw peasants bearing scythes and pikes, 
and which was thus hemmed in by the armed legions 
of two of the most powerful states in Europe. 

On the 6tji of June Kosciuszko reached Szczekociny. 
It was among the marshes there that the~FoIish 
army met the fiercest shock of arms it had yet 
experienced in the course of the Rising. " The 
enemy," wrote Kosciuszko in his report, " stood 
all night under arms. We awaited the dawn with 
the sweetest hope of victory." These hopes were 
founded on the precedent of Raclawice and on the 
battles in which Kosciuszko had fought in the 
United States, where he had seen British regulars 
routed by the American farmers. But as hostilities 
were about to begin with the morning, Wodzicki, 
examining the proceedings "^through his field-glasses, 
expressed his amazement at the masses moving 
against the Polish army. " Surely my eyes deceive 
me, for I recognize the Prussians," he said to a 
Polish officer at his side. It was too true. In the 
night the Prussianaxniy had come up uncj.er Frederick 
William II. " We saw," says KosciuszkoT"^ that it 
was not only with the Russians we had to deal, for 
the right wing of the enemy was composed of the 
Prussian army." The Poles fought with desperate 
valour. Kosciuszko himself records the name of a 
Polish sergeant who, " when both of his legs were 
carried off by a cannon-ball, still cried out to his 
men, ' Brothers, defend your country ! Defend her 
boldly. You will conquer!"^ The charges of the 
Polish reapers went far to turn the tide of victory ; 
but the overwhelming numbers of Prussian soldiers, 
and of scientific machines of war in a ratio of three 

• Kosciuszko. Periodical Publication. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 133 

to Ko^ciuszko's one, carried the day against the 
Poles. Kosciuszko's horse was shot under him, 
and himself slightly wounded. Only two of his 
generals emerged from the battle unscathed. The 
rest were either killed, including the gallant Wodzicki 
and another who, like him, had been one of the 
earhest promoters of the Rising, and the others 
wounded, Poninski redeeming by his blood a father's 
infamy. 

There was no choice -left open to Kosciuszko, if he 
' would save an army composed for the most part of 
inexperienced volunteers, but to order a re treat ^ 
This retreat was carried out in perfect order. The 
field was strewn with Polish dead, whom, after the 
withdrawal of the Prussians, the villagers piously 
buried in their parish church. There, too, on the 
battlefield, lay so many corpses of Prussian soldiers 
that Frederick William expressed the hope that 
he would gain few more such costly victories. It was 
at the close of this disastrous defeat that Kosciuszko 
for a moment gave way to despair. An officer of 
his — Sanguszko — met him wandering stupefied over 
the battlefield when the day was lost. " I wish to 
be killed," was all Sanguszko heard him say. 
Sanguszko only saved his general's life by gripping 
him .by the arm and forcing him within the turnpike 
of a village hard by, where the shattered Polish 
ranks had taken refuge. This was, however, but 
a momentary faltering of Kosciuszko's soul. On 
the morrow of the battle he was once more sending 
his country summonses to a renewed courage and 
calling up a fresh general levy. 

The projvisional government of Poland was the 
while negotiatingjvvith France and Austria. It was 



134 KOSCIUSZKO 

hoped that France would support the Rising finan- 
cially, and persuade Turkey with French encourage- 
ment jtodecldre war on Russia. France, preoccupied 
with internal revoluTidn, had no thought to spare 
for Polish affairs, and her assistance was never 
gained. Nor had the Poles' overtures to Austria 
any happy result. The Austrian Government gave 
secret orders to arrest Kosciuszko and Madalinski 
if they crossed the frontier, and the Austrian regi- 
ments received instructions to attack any Polish 
insurgents who should pass over into Galicia, pro- 
viding that the Austrians were superior in number. 
The favourable answer obtained , through a French 
intermediary from the Porte arrived after Kosciuszko 
was in a Russian prison. By the irony of fate he 
never heard it, and it was only divulged thirty 
years after his death. Thus every jiiplomatic mea ns 
failed the patriot, who was no match for the machina- 
tions of the European statecraft which has borne 
its lamentable fruits in the recent cataclysm we have 
all witnessed. He was thrown on the resources 
with which he was more familiar : those of an 
ennobling idea and of the exactions of self-devotion 
in its cause. Immediately after his eyes had been 
opened at Szczekociny to the new peril that had 
burst upon his country he sent out another order, 
bidding his commanders to "go over the Prussian 
and Russian boundaries " into the provinces that 
were lawfully Poland's but which had been filched 
from her at the partitions, " and proclaiming there 
the freedom and the rising of the Poles, summon 
the peasants oppressed §i,nd ground down with slavery 
to join us and universally arm against the usurpers 
and their oppression : " to do the same in Russia 



. THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 135 

proper and Prussia, to all " who are desirous of 
returning to the sweet Hberties of their own country 
or desirous to obtain a free country." ^ 

A peasant war could at the moment be only a 
chimera, impossible of realization. Does this mani- 
festo prove that Kosciuszko, in a most perilous 
situation, abandoned by Europe, was pushed to a 
measure that he himself knew was a desperate hope ? 
Or was it the generous prompting of a great dream 
that beats down, that refuses to be disconcerted 
by the obstacles that stand before it — that in its 
failure we call visionary, but in its success the reform 
for which the world has waited ? Be that as it 
may, the proclamation was not without its response. 
The Supreme Council modified its wording, and sent 
it into Great Poland — the so-called " Prussian " 
Poland — with the result that the Poles there took 
up arms. 

A lion striving in the toils : — such is the simile by 
which a PoUsh historian describes the position of 
Kosciuszko. Not one word or sign of sympathy for 
his nation in her gallant struggle for life reached him 
from any quarter outside his country. Nor was he 
beset only by external obstacles. Difficulties inside 
the state added to his cares. In answer to the 
complaint of a deputation from Warsaw, dissatisfied 
with the composition of the Supreme Council, he 
wrote from his tent, begging the people of the city, 
his " brothers and fellow-citizens," to remember that 
he, whom their delegates " saw," as he expresses it, 
" serving you and the country in the sweat of my 
brow," had only the happiness of the sons of Poland 
at heart. May, says he, his " vow made before God 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko, 



136 ' KOSCIUSZKO 

and the world calm all the anxieties of each citizen 
and defend them from irregular steps against the 
estabUshed Council. . . . My answer is short : let 
us first drive out the enemy, and then we will 
lay down the unchangeable foundations of our 
happiness." ^ 

Sincerity was the groundwork of Kosciuszko's 
dealings wiHThis people. The greater the reverses 
which tIiercause~of~Poland encountered, the greater 
must be the courage with which to conquer them. 
Defeat must be regarded merely as the incentive to 
victory. Thus, a few days after the battle of 
Szczekociny, giving the nation a full report of the 
battle, in which he mitigated none of his losses, he 
ended with these words : 

" Nation ! This is the first test of the stability of 

thy spirit, the first day of thy Rising in which it is 

free to thee to be sad, but not to be dismayed. Those 

guilty of thy defeat will amend it at the first 

opportunity, and they who have never deceived thee 

as to their courage thirst to avenge thy misfortune 

of a moment. Wouldest thou be worthy of Hberty 

and self-government if thou knowest not how to 

endure the vicissitudes of fate ? Nation ! Thy soil 

shall be free. Only let thy spirit be high above 
all."a 

He then marched in haste towards Warsaw, whose 
safety was threatened. On the way tidings ®f a 
great disaster were brought to him — that of the 
cap itulation of Cracow to the Prussians by its 
Polish commander, the nallonal Tionour only re- 
deemed by the gallant attempt of the Cracow 

I T. Korzon, Koiciuszko. 

» K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection. 



I 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 137 

burghers led by a book-keeper to defend the castle, 
to whom the Prussian general gave the honours of 
war as they marched out. The knowledge that the 
Prussians were in possession of the ancient capital 
of Poland, the most beloved of PoHsh cities, which 
had rung with the first vows of the national uprising, 
must have been bitter beyond expression to Kos- 
ciuszko and to all Poland ; but again he would permit 
neither himself nor his nation to meet this blow with 
anything but unshaken fortitude. 

" We have sustained a loss " — thus his manifesto : 
" but I ask of courageous and stable souls, ought this 
to make us fear ? Can the loss of one town bid us 
despair of the fate of the whole commonwealth ? 
The first virtue of a free man is not to despair of the 
fate of his country." He speaks of Athens and the 
Persians, Rome after Cannae, France driving the 
EngUsh out of their country, and the heroes of his own 
nation who had repulsed Sweden, Turkey, Russia, and 
the Tartars. " Other men of courage and of virtue 
have not doubted. Instead of breaking into profit- 
less lamentations they flew to arms, and delivered 
the country from the invasions of their enemies. . . . 
I have told you, citizens, what my duty bade me 
tell you in the conditions of to-day : beware of 
indirect and alarmist impressions, beware of those 
who spread them. Trust in the valour of our armies 
and the fidelity of their leaders. . . . Let not Europe 
say : ' The Pole is swift to enthusiasm, swifter to 
discouragement.' Rather let the nations say : ' The 
Poles are valiant in resolution, unterrified in disaster, 
constant in fulfilment.' " ^ 

As if to prove the truth of his words, good news 

I op. cit. 



138 KOSCIUSZKO 

poured in from Lithuania, Samogitia, Courland. 
Bands of peasants were fighting in Lithuania. The 
Rising was general in Samogitia. Courland remem- 
bered that in the past she had been a member of 
the Polish Commonwealth, and her citizens gave in 
their act of adhesion to the Polish Rising. 

Taking advantage of Frederick WilHam's incapacity 
of profiting by his victory at Szczekociny, Kos- 
ciuszko pushed rapidly on to Warsaw. By a series 
of skilful manoeuvres, in the last days of June he 
arrived outside the city, and prepared to defend her at 
all costs. 

Events then occurred in Warsaw of a nature to 
arouse his strong condemnation. Hearing of the loss 
of Cracow at the hand of a traitor, the Warsaw 
populace, with the memory of Targowica, many of 
whose confederates were still in their midst, staring 
them in the face, dragged out from the prisons certain 
Poles who had either been guilty or who were sus- 
pected of treason, and executed them then and there. 
Kosciuszko was in camp in the neighbourhood of 
Warsaw. Any form of terrorism was abhorrent 
both to his private and national conscience. So 
deeply did he take to heart this outbreak of popular 
fury that one of his Lithuanian commanders. Prince 
Michal Oginski, who visited him at that time, heard 
him declare that he would have preferred the loss of 
two battles as being less prejudicial to the Polish 
cause. As the head of the national government, he 
at once addressed the following letter to the €ity of 
Warsaw : — 

" WTiile all my labours and efforts are strained to 
the expulsion of the enemy, the news has reached 
me that an enemy more terrible than a foreign 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 139 

army is threatening us and tearing our vitals asunder. 
What happened in Warsaw yesterday has filled my 
heart Wfth bitterness and sadness. The wish to 
punish dehnquents was well, but why were they 
punished without the sentence of a tribunal ? Why fi 
have you outraged the authority and sanctity of the 
laws r Is that the act of a people which has raised 
its sword and conquered foreign invaders in order 
to restore a well-ordered liberty and the rule of 
law, and the tranquil happiness that flow there- 
from ? " 

Warning them in impassioned accents that such 
conduct was the surest means of playing into the 
hands of the enemy whose desire was to promote 
public confusion and thus impede the national work : 

" As soon as the turn of war permits me to absent 
myself for a moment from the duties entrusted to 
me, I shall be among you. Perhaps the sight of a 
soldier who daily risks his hfe for you will be agree- 
able to you ; but I would that no sadness imprinted 
on my countenance shall mar that moment. I 
would that our joy shall then be full, both yours and 
mine. I would that the sight of me shall remind you 
that the defence of freedom and of our country should 
only knit and unite us together, that only in unity 
can we be strong, that by justice, not by violence, ^ 
shall we be safe at home and respected in the world. 
Citizens ! I conjure you for the sake of the nation 
and of yourselves wipe out a moment of madness by 
unison, by courage against the common enemies and 
by a henceforth constant respect of the laws and of 
those who are appointed in the name of the law. 
Know this, that he who refuses to be submissive to 
the law is not worthy of freedom." 



140 KOSCIUSZKO 

He blames the Council of State for not having 
brought the prisoners to trial before, and bids this 
be "done immediately. 

" And thus fulfilling what public justice exacts, 
I from henceforth most severely forbid the people, 
for their welfare and salvation, all lawless riots, 
violence against the prisoners, laying hands on 
individuals, and punishing them by death. Whoso 
does not betake himself to the government by the 
proper way is a rebel, a disturber of the public peace, 
and as such must be punished. You whose ardent | 
courage is fain to take action for the country, employ 
it against the enemies, come to my camp ; we will | 
receive you here as brothers." ^ 

Many responded to this call, Kilinski, the shoe- 
maker, with the cap of liberty planted rakishly on 
his head, as we may see him in his portraits, went to 
Kosciuszko with the proposal that he should " catch " 
the lower classes of the town. Kosciuszko gave his 
hearty consent, and a regiment of these was formed 
with KiHnski as their colonel. Kosciuszko was 
always singularly happy in his dealings with men 
and with the extraordinarily involved and delicate, 
situations in which the domestic affairs of his country] 
at this difficult period of her history placed him. 
His tact and common sense saved the situation. 
The guilty were punished. Order was restored. 

The Russian and Prussian armies were advancing 
to invest Warsaw. At Kosciuszko's bidding the 
President of the town, Zakrzewski, whom Kosciuszko 
addresses as his " beloved " Zakrzewski, had already 
in stirring language summoned the citizens to take 
their share in Warsaw's defence. 

' K. Bartoszewicz, History of Kosciuszko's Insurrection. 



4 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 141 

" Old men and young men, mothers and children, 
masters and servants, convents and confraternities, 
and all, in whatsoever you have of strength and 
health, present yourselves on the ramparts of the 
city with spades, shovels, barrows, baskets. You who 
are rich forget your comforts. You who are high- 
born forget your rank. Stand with the poor and 
hard-working citizens so that you who have drawn 
life from one soil shall on one soil taste the fruits 
of your safety, liberties, and possessions." ^ 

Crowds toiled on the ramparts, singing over their 
spades the song then sung throughout Poland, calling 
the Pole to the labour without which he would be 
torn from his brothers, " a prisoner on his own soil." 
The sons of noble families enrolled themselves in 
Kilinski's burgher regiment, eager to serve under 
his command. On the 13th of Jul}^ the Russian 
and Prussian armies, the King of Prussia being 
present with the latter, were seen from the walls of 
Warsaw. The alarm was given and the cannon 
fired^from the castle. The citizens took up their 
places in the entrenchments with an order and a 
precision that won high praise from Kosciuszko as 
he went his round of inspection. With undisturbed 
equanimity Kosciuszko prepared with his body of 
26/)oo_men, of whom 16,000 were regulars, the rest 
peasants armed with scythes7~to defend Warsaw 
against 41,000 Russians and Prussians and 235 
cannon. Despite the labour of the townsfolk,* the 
defences of the city were weak and incomplete when 
the enemy first appeared ; but during the fortnight 
while the hostile armies lay encamped before Warsaw, 
waiting for their heavy cannon, Kosciuszko, by dint 

» A. Choioniewski, Tadeusz Kosciuszko. 



142 KOSCIUSZKO 

of his g reat gift of organization, j )ut the fortifications 
into strong working order. 

" His creati ve po wer," said of him one of his 
adversaries, a Prussian officer, who took part in 
the siege, " is worthy of admiration, since he alone, 
in the midst of creating an army, fought with it 
against the two best armies of Europe, having neither 
their stores nor their discipUne. What would he not 
have shown himself at the head of a good army, since 
he did so much with peasants who knew nothing ? 
Equally great in character, in devotion, in love of 
his country, he lived exclusively for her freedom and 
independence."^ 

The story would be long to tell, of how the Poles, 
peasants, burghers and soldiers ahke, with the 
inheritance of the fighting blood that runs in the 
,^-^A veins of every son of^oland, with the fire of pafiriot- 
^ ism and of measureless devotion to the chief who 
led them, fought day after day the besieging army 
till it was beaten. The diary of the siege is the 
daily record of deeds of gallantry, of steadfastness, 
of a few carrying off the honours against many. 
Nor is there wanting a touch of that wild and 
romantic spirit of knightly adventure which runs 
all through the history of a country that for centuries 
defended Christendom against Turk and Tartar. 
Thus we find a PoUsh officer, Kamienski, who had 
already crowned himself with glory at Szczekociny, 
choosing to celebrate his name-day by inviting his 
friends to come with him and stir up the Russians, 
hitherto entirely passive in the operations of the 
siege. This, so to speak, birthday party was swelled 
by a band of eager Polish youths and by General 

' A. Choloniewski, Tadeusz Ktisciuszko. 



i 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 143 

Madalinski, who hastened to offer himself as a 
volunteer. They attacked a Russian battery, spiked 
the cannon and cut the gunners to pieces. Again 
and again Dombrowski, who was later to lead the 
Polish Napoleonic legions, and whose name stands at 
the head of the famous patriotic song so beloved of 
Poland, would at Kosciuszko's laconic order, " Harass 
the enemy," sally forth on some daring expedition. 
Or we hear of a sixteen hours' battle, the Poles, 
under a terrific fire, successfully driving the Prussians 
from height to height, Kosciuszko himself com- 
manding KiUnski's burgher regiment. No shirkers 
were to be found in Warsaw. Under the fearful 
Prussian bombardment the citizens coolly put out 
the fires, and the children ran into the streets to 
pick up the spent balls and take them to the arsenal, 
receiving a few pence for each one that they brought 
in. Once as Kosciuszko and Niemcewicz stood on 
the ramparts with cannon-balls pattering about 
them, Niemcewicz heard a voice shouting into his 
ear through the din : " You are coming to supper 
with me, aren't you ?"i The host who had the 
presence of mind to arrange a party under these 
circumstances was the President of Warsaw. 

Even those who will not allow that Kosciuszko 
was a mihtary commander of the first capacity 
acknowledge that the defence of Warsaw was a 
magnificejit feat. He was~Tts life and "soul7 Organ- 
izingr encouraging, seeing into the closest details, 
the somewhat small but strongly built figure of the 
commander, clad in the peasant sukman worn, after 
his example, by all his staff, including the " citizen 
General Poniatowski," was to be met with at every 
' J. Niemcewicz, Recollections of My Times. 



144 KOSCIUSZKO 

turn, his face lit up by that fire of enthusiasm 
and consecration to a great cause that confers upon 
its rough Uneaments their strange nobiUty. From 
the 13th of July till the 6th of September, when the 

enemy aFaii3one335^IlJ:il^-'^^^*^^2^° never once 
took off his clothes, merely flinging himself on a httle 
heap of straw in his tent on his return from his 
rounds to catch what sleep he could. His very 
t)resence inspired soldiers and civilians ahke to 
; redoubled ardour. The s\yeetness of his smile, the 
■^ ^. ^gentle and kindly word of the leader who yet knew 
■ i.> "how to be obeyed and who was famed for his courage 
" ^ .^^in the field, left a memory for fife with all who saw 
him. Passionate admiration, the undying love of 
men's hearts, were his. " Death or Yictory is 
Kosciuszko's watchword, therefore it is ours," said a 
Polish officer who served under him. " Father 
Tadeusz " was the name by which his soldiers called 
him. Invariably he spent some part of his day 
among his beloved peasants, and daily he recited 
with them public prayers. Often at night he and 
they together went up to the teeth of the Russian 
batteries on expeditions to spike the cannon. His 
inseparable companion, Niemcewicz, who slept with 
him in his tent till the-end came, describes how the 
silence of these nights was broken hideously by the 
wild, shrill cry of the reapers, by the sudden roar of 
the cannon and crack of gunfire, by the groans of the 
wounded. 

The defence of Warsaw was but half of the task 
that fell to Kosciuszko. The minutest particulars 
were dealt with by him personally. He wrote letter 
after letter, commandeering everything in the country 
for the national cause : requisitioning linen from thei 



,^ 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 145 

churches to clothe his soldiers, who in the beginning 
of the siege were half naked, sending out his directions 
to the leaders of the Rising in the provinces, issuing 
proclamations, maintaining an enormous correspon- 
dence on affairs — it is said that the number of letters 
from his pen or signed by him at this time is almost 
incredible — giving audiences, and conducting the civil 
government of Poland. 

Early in August the Prussian general, in a letter 
to Orlowski, Kosciuszko's old friend, whom he had 
made commandant of Warsaw, summoned the city 
to surrender, while the King of Prussia addressed 
himself in similar language to Stanislas Augustus, 
whose part in the historical drama of the siege was 
that of an inert spectator. Kosciuszko drily replied, 
" Warsaw is not in the necessity to be compelled to 
surrender." The Polish King rephed, not drily, to 
the same effect. The fortunes of the Rising_in the 
rest of the country were fluctuating,^andJiL Lithuania, 
where Wilno fell, hopeless. In the beginning of 
September exultation ran through Warsaw at the 
news that every province of Great Poland had risen 
against their Prussian conquerors. Kosciuszko char- 
acteristically took up the general joy as the text 
of a manifesto to the citizens of Warsaw, warning 
them that Prussia w^ould, in the strength of despera- 
tion, redouble her efforts against them, and urging 
them to a dogged resistance. On the 4th of 
September, shortly after the Poles had by a most 
gallant attack carried off a signal triumph, when 
Warsaw was preparing for a fresh and violent 
bombardment, Kosciuszko wrote in haste to the 
President : " Beloved Zakrzewski, to-day, before 
daybreak, we shall certainly be attacked, and there- 

10 



146 KOSCIUSZKO 

fore I beg and conjure you for the love of our country 
that half of the citizens shall go to-day into the 
line, and that if they attack all shall go out.''^ 

The attack did not take place ; and on the 6th_of 
September the Prussians retired from Warsaw. 
During the whole course of the siege, with the 
exception of one post they had taken in its earliest 
stage, they had gained not one inch against the 
Poles defending their city with smaller numbers and 
inferior ammunition. The Russians retreated with 
the Prussians. They had remained almost immovable 
during the siege. Neither of these two collaborators 
in the destruction of Poland were on the best terms 
with each other, and Catherine II had no mind to 
share with Prussia the distinction, and still less 
the profits, of bringing Warsaw to its knees. Austria, 
although she was by way of being at war with 
Kosciuszko, had held aloof from the siege, unwiUing 
to commit herself, but determined on coming in for 
the spoils when the Rising should be crushed out. 

Kosciuszko then tasted one of the greatest triumphs 
of his life^tbe. armies of the'^'ehemy were no more 
seen round the city he had saved. 

" By your assiduity, your valour," the National 
Council wrote to him, " you have curbed the pride 
and power of that foe who, after pressing upon us so 
threateningly, has been forced to retreat with shame 
upon his covetous intentions. The Council knows 
only too well the magnitude of the labours which you 
brought to the defence of this city, and therefore 
cannot but make known to you that most lively 
gratitude and esteem with which all this city is 
penetrated. "2 

I T. Korzon, Kosciusxko. * Op. cit. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 147 

Further, it expressed the wish that Kosciuszko 
should show himself to a grateful people in some 
solemn function. 

To this Kosciuszko politely replied, declining 
to take any share in a public honour which it was 
against every dictate of his nature to accept. 

" I have read with the greatest gratitude and 
emotion the flattering expressions of the Supreme 
National Council. I rejoice equally with every good 
citizen at the liberation of the city from the enemy 
armies. I ascribe this to nothing else but to Provi- 
dence, to the valour of the Polish soldiers, to the zeal 
and courage of the citizens of Warsaw, to the dihgence 
of the government. I place myself entirely at the 
disposition of the Supreme National Council : in 
what manner and when do you wish the celebration 
to take place ? My occupations will not permit me 
the pleasure of being with you. I venture to trust 
that the God who has delivered the capital will 
deliver our country likewise. Then, as a citizen, not 
as a bearer of office, will I offer my thanks to God 
and share with every one the universal joy."i 

He stayed in his camp and, in order to avoid an 
ovation, did not enter Warsaw. No public triumph 
was celebrated, but Masses of thanksgiving were 
sung in every church of the city. 

Although he was the ruler of the state, Kosciuszko 
lived in the utmost simplicit3^ He had refused the 
palace^That was offered to him, .and took up his 
quarters in a tent. When receiving guests his modest 
rrie^aT was spread under a tree. Asked by Oginski 
why he drank no Burgundy, his reply was that 
Oginski, being a great magnate, might permit himself 

» op. cit. 



148 KOSCIUSZKO 

such luxuries, " but not the commander who is now 
hving at the expense of an oppressed commonwealth." 
When taken unawares by a royal chamberlain he 
was discovered blowing up his own fire, preparing 
some frugal dish. 

In the first flush of joy at the hberation of Warsaw, 
he wrote to Mokronowski : 

" Warsaw is delivered. There are no longer either 
Muscovites or Prussians here : we will go and seek 
them out. Go, my friend, and seek them out, and 
dehver Lithuania from the invaders. "^ 

But Kosciuszko's steadiness of outlook was not for 
an instant relaxed by the signal success he had won. 
Untiring vigilance and redoubled activity were his 
order of the day, both for himself and his fellow- 
Poles. The short breathing-space that followed the 
retirement of the enemy was devoted by him to the 
pressing internal concerns of the nation, taxation and 
so forth. He was determined on perfect freedom 
for all classes and all rehgions in Poland. He ordered 
the erection of new Orthodox places_ol^prship for 
the members of the Eastern Church. He enrolled a 
Jewish legion to fight in Poland's army, and com- 
rnanded that this regiment should be equipped and 
treated on equal terms with the PoUsh soldiers of 
the Repubhc. In a transport of gratitude the 
Jewish leaders called upon their fellow-believers to 
rise for Poland in confidence of victory under " our 
protector, Tadeusz Kosciuszko," who " is without 
doubt the emissary of the eternal and Most High 
God." 2 

Kosciuszko was a generous enemy. His Russian 



1 Letters of Kosciuszko. 

2 K. Falkenstein, Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Wroclaw, 1831 (Polish). 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 149 

captives he treated with a courtesy and kindness 
that were ill repaid during his own march into Russia 
as a prisoner in Russian hands. He directed that 
services in their own language and faith should be 
held for the Prussian prisoners, A letter of his 
remains that he wrote to the Lutheran minister of 
the evangelical church in Warsaw, expressing his 
gratitude that this clergyman's pulpit had been a 
centre of patriotism, at a time " when nations who 
love freedom must win the right to their existence 
by streams of blood," and telling the pastor that he 
has issued orders for the Prussian prisoners to be 
taken to church in the " conviction that you will 
not refuse them your fatherly teaching." ^ 

This letter and the snuff-box that accompanied it 
were preserved as relics in the pastor's family. 

The Bohemian and Hungarian prisoners were by 
Kosciuszko's command released, " in memory of the 
bond that united the Hungarians and Czechs, when 
free countries, with the Polish nation." We have 
lived to see the descendants of that Hungarian 
generation spreading untold atrocities through 
Polish towns and villages as the tool of Prussia in 
the recent war. 

The triumph over the Prussians was but a temporary 
respite. The Prussian army returned to the invest- 
ment of Warsaw7""at"soffle distance from the town 
itself. The ambassador of the King of Prussia was 
treating in Petersburg with Catherine II for the 
third partition of Poland. She on her side sent 
Suvorov with a new and powerful arm y^agajost „the 
Polish The Austrians were already in the country. 
Kosciuszko, fighting for life against Russia and 

I Tygodnik Illustrowany . Warsaw, 1881 (Polish). 



150 KOSCIUSZKO 

Prussia, had no army to send against the third of 
his foes. His generals were engaging the enemy in 
different parts of Poland, at times with success, 
as notably Dombrowski in Great Poland, where 
events continued to be the one gleam of hope in these 
last days of the Rising, but again with terrible 
defeats, such as Sierakowski experienced by the 
army of Suvorov, near Kosciuszko's old home. 
Kosciuszko deceived himself with no illusions: but 
neither fear nor despair found an entry into his 
soul. " He did not lose heart," writes one who never 
left him. " He turned and defended himself on all 
sides." I Wherever his presence was most urgently 
needed, thither he repaired. Accompanied only by 
Niemcewicz he rode at full speed into Lithuania to 
rally the spirits of Mokronowski's corps, depressed 
by defeat. He returned at the same breakneck 
pace, miraculously, says his companion, escaping 
capture by the Cossacks who were swarming over 
the country. On this occasion, Princess Oginska, 
at whose house the travellers took a hasty dinner, 
pushing on immediately afterwards, gave Kosciuszko 
a beautiful turquoise, set with diamonds. It was to 
be among the Russian spoils at Maciejowice. 

The proclamation that Kosciuszko addressed to the 
Lithuanian soldiers, found later in his handwriting 
among his letters, bears its own testimony to the 
soul of the leader who, in the face of strong armies 
marching upon his doomed nation, would give no 
entrance to despair or discouragement. Expressing 
the joy he experienced at being among the soldiers 
of Lithuania, on whose soil he was born : 

" My brothers and comrades ! If till now the 

* J. Niemcewicz, op, cit. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 151 

results of your toil and struggles have not entirely 
corresponded to the courage and intrepidity of a 
free nation, I ascribe this, not to the superior valour 
of our enemies (for what could there be more valiant 
than a Polish army ?) ; but I ascribe it to a want 
of confidence in our own strength and courage, to 
that false and unfortunate idea of the enemy's 
power which some fatality has sown among your 
troops. Soldiers valiant and free ! Beware of those 
erroneous conceptions that wrong you ; thrust them 
from your hearts ; they are unworthy of Poles. . . . 
A few thousand of your ancestors were able to 
subdue the whole Muscovite state, to carry into 
bondage her Tsars and dictate to her rulers, and 
you, the descendants of those same Poles, can, 
wrestling for freedom and country, fighting for your 
homes, families and friends, doubt ... if you will 
conquer. . . . Remember, I repeat, that on our 
united courage and steadfastness the country must 
depend for her safety, j/ou for your freedom and 
happiness." 

He threatens with the utmost rigour of martial law 
any who shall attempt to undermine the spirit of 
the army by representing the difficulty of opposing 
the enemy, or similar offences. "^ 

" It were a disgrace to any man to run away, but 
for the free man it were a disgrace even to think of 
flight." 

" I have spoken to the cowards who, God grant, 
will never be found among you. Now do I speak 
to you, valiant soldiers, who have fulfilled the duties 
of courageous soldiers and virtuous citizens, who 
have driven the enemies even to the shores of the 
sea. ... I speak to those who have in so many 



152 KOSCIUSZKO 

different battles spread wide the glorj' of the Pohsh 
name. Accept through me the most ardent gratitude 
of the nation."! 

In the same month, towards the end of September, 
he sent his country what proved to be Ms last message, 
still from his tent outside Warsaw. 

" Freedom, that gift beyond estimate for man on 
earth, is given by God only to those nations which 
by their perseverance, courage, and constancy in all 
untoward events, are worthy of its possession. This 
truth is taught us by free nations which after long 
struggle full of labours, after protracted sufferings 
manfully borne, now enjoy the happy fruits of their 
courage and perseverance. 

" Poles ! You who love your country and liberty 
equally with the valorous nations of the south, you 
who have been compelled to suffer far more than 
others oppression and disdain ; Poles, who, pene- 
trated with the love of honour and of virtue, can 
endure no longer the contempt and destruction of 
the Polish name, who have so courageously risen 
against despotism and oppression, I conjure you grow 
not cold ; do not cease in your ardour and in your 
constancy." 

He tells them he knows only too well that in a 
war with the invaders their possessions are exposed 
to the danger of loss ; " but in this perilous moment 
for the nation we must sacrifice all for her and, 
desirous to taste of lasting happiness, we must not 
shrink from measures, however bitter, to ensure it 
to ourselves. Never forget that these sufferings (if 
we may call such sacrifices for our country by that 
name !) are only passing, and that contrariwise the 

» Letters of Ko^ciuszko. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 153 

freedom and independence of our land prepare for 
you uninterrupted days of happiness. "' 

These were the numbered days of Kosciuszko's 
Rising. A Russian army of highly trained troops 
under the able command of Suvorov was marching 
on Warsaw. To prevent Suvorov's juncture with the 
forces of the Russian general, Fersen, Kosciuszko 
prepared to leave Warsaw and give Fersen battle. 
Beset from every quarter, he had been compelled to 
divide his army in order to grapple with the powerful 
armies against him. Sierakowski had, as we have 
seen, been defeated. There was not a moment to 
be lost. On the 5th of October Kosciuszko confided 
to Niemeewicz that by daybreak on the following 
morning he intended to set out to take command of 
Sierakowski's detachment. He spent the evening in 
the house of Zakrzewski, for the last time among 
his dearest and most faithful collaborators, Ignacy 
Potocki, Kollontaj, and others. The next morning by 
dawn he was off with Niemeewicz. They galloped 
over the bridge at Praga. A month later that bridge 
was to run red with the blood of PoHsh women and 
children ; its broken pillars were to ring with the 
agonizing cries of helpless fugitives as they fled from 
Suvorov's soldiers only to find death in the river 
below. The Hfe of Poland depending on his speed, 
for Fersen at the head of twenty thousand men was 
nearing both Warsaw and Suvorov, Kosciuszko, with 
his companion, rode at hot haste. They only paused 
to change horses, remounting the miserable steeds 
of the peasants, sorry beasts with string for bridle 
and bit, and saddles without girths ; but none others 
were to be found in a land laid waste by the Cossacks 

I K. Falkenstein, Tadeusz Koiciuszko. 



154 KO^CIUSZKO 

and by the marches of armed men. At four in the 
afternoon Kosciuszko rode into Sierakowski's camp, 
where he at once held a council of war. The army 
under his command moved on October 7th, The day 
was fair, glowing with the lights of the Polish autumn. 
The soldiers were gay of heart, and sang as they 
marched through villages ruined by the Cossacks — 
to defeat. They halted at one of these villages where 
the Russians had been before them. The staff spent 
the night in the house of the squire. The furniture 
had been hacked to pieces by the Cossacks, books, 
utensils, all destroyed. That evening a courier rode 
in to convey to Kosciuszko the intelligence that 
Dombrowski had won a victory over the Prussians 
at Bydgoszcz — rechristened by Prussia, Bromberg — 
and had taken the town. It was Kosciuszko's last 
hour of joy. He published the news through the 
camp, amidst the soldiers' acclamations, bidding them 
equal Dombrowski's prowess with their own. With 
an old friend of his Niemcewicz walked in the court- 
yard of the house where the staff was quartered. 
A flock of ravens wheeled above them. " Do you 
remember your Titus Livy ? " asked Niemcewicz's 
companion. " Those ravens are on our right. It is 
a bad sign." " It might be so for the Romans," 
replied the poet, " but not for us. You will see 
that though it seems difficult we shall smash the 
Muscovites." " I think so too," answered the other.' 
In this spirit the Polish soldiers advanced to the 
fatal field of Maciejowice. Tents they had none. 
Fires were lit, around which they stood or sat, arms 
in hand. 

On the 8th of October rain poured, and the wearied 

' J. Niemcewicz, Notes sur ma Captivite d Saint -Petersbourg. 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 155 

soldiers rested. On the 9th the army went forward. 
Again over that last march the strange beauty of 
a Polish autumn shed a parting melancholy glory. 
The way led through forests flaming with the red, 
gold, and amber with which the fall of the year paints 
the woods of Poland. At four o'clock the forest 
was left behind, and the army emerged near the 
village of Maciejowice. Kosciuszko, taking Niem- 
cewicz and a few lancers, pushed on to reconnoitre 
the position. A scene of terrible splendour met 
the gaze of the doomed leader. The Vistula 
stretched before him, reddening in the sunset, and 
as far as the eye could reach lay on its shores the 
Russian army, their weapons flashing to the sinking 
sun. The hum of multitudes of men, the neighing 
of horses, the discordant clamours of a camp, filled 
the air. Advancing, Kosciuszko with his little troop 
had a skirmish with the Cossacks. The general 
and Niemcewicz were twice surrounded, and narrowly 
escaped with their lives. Then with the evening the 
Polish army came up, and hostilities ceased. 

The village of Maciejowice stood in a hollow outside 
a wood among marshes. The night quarters of the 
staff were in the manor-house belonging to the 
Zamojski family. It, too, had been ravaged by 
Jiussian soldiers, the family portraits in a great hall 
on the first floor slashed by Cossack sabres, the 
contents of the library wantonly destroyed. No 
foreboding seemed to have hung over the Polish 
officers as they sat at supper. They were in high 
spirits, and peals of laughter greeted the quaint 
jscraps that Niemcewicz read out from a handful 
of old Polish newspapers he had hit upon intact in 
ja chest. Shortly after supper Kosciuszko lay down 



156 KOSCIUSZKO 

for a few hours' sleep ; at midnight he rose and 
dictated to Niemcewicz his instructions for the day. 
Before sunrise the Russians were moving to the 
attack, and Ko^ciuszko was on his horse. Impelled 
by necessity, he gave orders to fire a village that 
lay in the line of the Russian advance. The 
lamentations of the women and children as they 
fled into the woods from the flames that were 
destroying their all, the wild cries of frightened birds 
and beasts, the volumes of smoke rising over ruined 
homes, combined to make up a scene of horror, 
unforgettable by those who witnessed it, and that 
must have wrung a heart such as Kosciuszko's. 
Under a steady Polish fire the Russian soldiers and 
cannon, advancing through mud and marsh, sank 
at every step. For three hours the Poles kept the 
enemy at bay, standing steadily against his terrific 
fire with artillery that was no match for his. The 
Polish staff were covered with branches that the 
Russian balls sent crashing from the trees. Kos- 
ciuszko himself fired the cannon with an accuracy 
of aim under which the Russians wavered. It 
appeared as though they were about to retreat. 
But the enemy's superiority of numbers, the strength 
of his artillery, began to tell, and his heavy fire 
sowed death among the Polish ranks. A shell 
burst between Kosciuszko, his aide-de-camp, Fiszer, 
and Niemcewicz, but left them unharmed. What 
Niemcewicz, who lived through it, describes as a 
hailstorm of bullets, grapeshot and shells, poured 
down upon the Polish lines. How any came out 
alive to tell the tale was to him a marvel. The dead 
lay in heaps. Not a Pole stirred from his post under 
this rain of fire. Each fell where he stood. Every 



I 



THE RISING OF KOSCIUSZKO 157 

artillery horse was by now killed or mutilated. 
Then at that moment — it was past midday — the 
Polish cannon were silent : the ammunition had 
run out. Riding madly through the Pohsh ranks, 
Kosciuszko shouted to his soldiers to fight on, to 
keep up heart, Poninski with fresh supplies was 
coming up. He did not come, and the rumour of 
treachery, never, however, proved, gathered about a 
name that was already of ill repute to a Polish ear. 
Galled by standing motionless without ammunition, 
a Polish battalion rashly charged, and the Russians 
broke through the Polish line. Niemcewicz, rushing 
up to repulse them at the head of a Lithuanian 
squadron, was wounded, captured by the Russians, 
and his men dispersed. Another faithful friend of 
Kosciuszko, Kopec, struggUng to cut a way through 
for his general, and thrice wounded, was in his turn 
taken prisoner. The little Polish army was now 
encircled on all sides by the Russians, attacking in 
their whole strength. Then ensued a fearful bayonet 
charge in which the Poles were mowed down like 
corn before the sickles, each soldier falUng at his 
post, yielding not to the enemy of their country, 
but only to death. The battaUon of Dzialynski — 
he who had been among the most ardent propagators 
of the Rising in its beginning — died to the last man. 
One who passed over the battlefield before the close 
of day shuddered at the sight of those serried rows 
of the dead, testifying by the order in which they 
lay to the unbroken discipline in which they had 
died. Of that battlefield, such is the phrase, " the 
enemy only remained master by treading over the 
ranks of the corpses of our soldiers, still occupying 
after death the same place they had occupied in the 



o* 



158 KO^CIUSZKO . /7fV ' 

7! 
battle."^ Without hope of victpi-jf the PoUsh rifle- 
men fired till their last (^tridg^ was spent. With 
the Russians on all sid6s'*~(5rthem the gunners, 
standing at the cannons, had worked till the end. 
A final desperate effort was made by Kosciuszko to 
form up a front with a small band of his soldiers. 
His third horse was killed beneath him. He mounted 
another, when a wave of Russian cavalry swept in 
upon the broken remains of the Polish army, and all 
was over. Fighting in a hand-to-hand struggle in 
a marsh, Kosciuszko fell, covered with wounds, 
unconscious, and was taken prisoner by three young 
Russian ensigns. Only two thousand of .the Poles 
who had fought at Maciejowice returned to Warsaw 
from that tragic and heroic field. Conducted to 
the manor where a few hours before he had slept 
by the side of Kosciuszko, Niemcewicz found there 
Kosciuszko's devoted officers, Sierakowski, Kniazie- 
wicz, who had commanded the left wing at the 
battle. Kopec and Fiszer — all prisoners of war. The 
last drop was added to their cup of bitterness when 
they heard that nothing was known of the fate of 
their beloved leader, save the report that he was 
slain. 

' J. Niemcewicz, Notes suy ma Captivite a Saint •Petersbourg. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE RUSSIAN PRISON 

Late in the afternoon of that ill-fated day a stretcher, 
roughly and hastily put together, was carried by 
Russian soldiers into the courtyard of the manor. 
The prisoners saw that on it lay the scarcely breathing 
form of Kosciuszko. His body and head were 
covered with blood. He was insensible and appar- 
ently at the point of death. The dead silence as he 
was carried in was only broken by the sobs of his 
Polish officers. The surgeon dressed his wounds, 
and he was then taken to a large hall and left to 
the companionship of Niemcewicz, with Russian 
grenadiers posted inside each door. In the evening 
the hall was required by Fersen for dinner and his 
council of war, and Kosciuszko, still unconscious, 
was transferred, Niemcewicz following him, to a 
room over the cellar. 

Towards the end of the battle the fiercest contest 
had raged around the Zamojski manor. At the last 
a hundred Polish soldiers had in the desperation of 
extremity defended the house, and fought it out 
till no round of ammunition remained to them. The 
Russians then burst in, and despatched at the point 
of the bayonet every Pole in every room of the 
building, including the cellar, where the only sur- 

159 



160 KOSCIUSZKO 

vivors of the heroic band took up their final stand. 
The bloodshed stopped when each man of them was 
dead or dying, and not before. The moans of those 
lying in their last agony in this cellar of death were, 
when the laughter and merrymaking of the Russian 
officers died away with the course of the hours, 
the only sound that Niemcewicz heard, as by the 
couch of his passionately loved and apparently 
dying leader he lay through the bitter cold of the 
October night, weeping not only for a dear friend, 
but for his country. At sunrise Kosciuszko spoke, 
as if waking from a trance. Seeing Niemcewicz, with 
his arm bandaged, beside him, he asked why his 
friend was wounded, and where they were. " Alas ! 
we are prisoners of Russia," said Niemcewicz. " I am 
with you, and will never leave you,"^ Tears rose to 
Kosciuszko's eyes, as he made reply that such a 
friend was a consolation in misfortune. The entrance 
of Russian ofiicers, deputed to keep guard over 
them, interrupted the conversation. They were 
watched each moment, and their words and actions 
reported. Later on Fersen came in and addressed 
Kosciuszko courteously, speaking in German, which 
Niemcewicz — for Kosciuszko knew neither German 
nor Russian — interpreted. At midday a deafening 
discharge of musketry and cannon smote painfully 
upon the prisoners' ears : it was the salvo of joy 
for the Russian victory. 

On the I3thjgf_0ct^ber the Russian army marched, 
and Kosciuszko and his fellow-Poles began their 
long, lad journey to a Russian prison. Kosciuszko 
travelled in a small carriage with a surgeon, 
Niemcewicz and the Polish generals in a separate 

' J. Niemcewicz, Noies sur ma Captivite a Saint-Pitersbourg. 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 161 

conveyance, while the rest of the prisoners went on 

foot. Detachments of Russian cavalry rode in 

front and behind. An immense train of wagons, 

filled with the loot carried off from Polish homes, 

Polish cannon captured on the field, a car bearing 

the Polish flags with their national device of eagles, 

embroidered heavily with silver, added the final 

drop of bitterness to the lot of the defeated sons of 

,^i a proud and gallant race. On the halt held the 

■^ following day messengers came up from Warsaw, 

bringing Kosciuszko his personal effects and a letter 

, from the National Council, conveying expressions of 

I the highest eulogy and deep sympathy, with a present 

of four thousand ducats, of which Kosciuszko gave 

half to his fellow-prisoners. 

The scene in Warsaw when the news of Ko^ciuszko's 

captivity reached it was, writes a Pole who was then 

in the town, the saddest sight he ever saw.^ In every 

public place, in every class of society, in every home, 

I the one refrain, broken by sobs, was : " Kosciuszko is 

' no more." The leader was gone ; but the men and 

I women who were met wandering, weeping, in the 

I streets, wringing their hands and mourning for the 

I man they and the country had lost together, had 

i no thought of giving up the struggle for their nation. 

" Neither the duty of a citizen nor thy example 

permits us to despair for our country," wrote the 

National Council to Kosciuszko. The war was 

carried on, and the citizens of Warsaw went in 

their thousands to the ramparts, as in Kosciuszko's 

time, to hold the town against Suvorov's siege. 

Together with their dispatches to Kosciuszko, the 
National Council sent a letter to Fersen, offering to 

' M. Oginski, Memoir es. Paris, 1826. 
11 



162 KOSCIUSZKO 

give up all their Russian prisoners in exchange for 
Kosciuszko alone. The Russian general refused. 
Two days later Fersen received orders to join Suvorov, 
and the prisoners with a large detachment of Russian 
troops under Krushtzov were sent on into Russia 
by an immensely roundabout route. 

The first part of the march led through Polish 
territory. The Pohsh prisoners watched, powerless, 
the ravages committed on their unhappy country by 
the army with which they travelled. The contents 
of mansion, shop, hut, were alike stolen. Even 
children's toys swelled the booty. Although the 
wound on Kosciuszko's head began to improve, he 
had lost the use of his legs and could not move without 
being carried ; yet a Russian guard watched him 
incessantly. The rumour had gone round the Polish 
countryside that he had escaped from Maciejowice, 
and that the Russians had some feigned captive 
in his place. In their halts Krushtzov therefore 
insisted on the Polish proprietor of the villages, or 
the chief inhabitants of the towns, where the pro- 
cession passed the night, presenting themselves in 
Kosciuszko's room to see with their own eyes that 
he was in truth the prisoner of Russia. In strong 
indignation at this insult to Kosciuszko, Niemcewicz 
writes, with excusable bitterness, that hitherto men 
had been known to make a show of wild beasts ; 
now " wild beasts showed off the man."^ At these 
interviews no free speech was possible between the 
fellow-Poles, as the guards were always present. 
They could only exchange the sympathy of sorrowing 
looks and equally sad, but guarded, words. 

So long as the army marched through Poland, 

I J. Niemcewicz, op. cit. 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 168 

Kosciuszko had the mournful satisfaction of receiving 
here and there on the road some last token of recog- 
nition and honour from his compatriots. At one 
spot where the Russian officers quartered themselves 
on the castle of the Sanguszkos, while Kosciuszko and 
his companions were lodged in the wretched village 
inn, the Princess, unable to show her compassion 
in any other way, provided the Poles with all 
their meals, prepared by her chef. Another Polish 
princess, whose mansion was twenty miles distant, 
and who was no other than Ludwika Lubomirska, 
sent over her 3'oung son with clothes and books for 
the prisoners. They were still in this village when 
a courier arrived, bearing the news of the fall of 
Warsaw, and of the massacre of Praga which has 
gained for the name of Suvorov its eternal infamy in 
the history of Poland. Thirteen thousand of the civilian 
inhabitants of Warsaw, men, women, and children, 
were put to the sword, immolated in the flames, or 
drowned in the Vistula as they fled over a broken 
bridge before the fury of the Russian soldiers. Thus 
ended the Rising of Kosciuszko. If under one aspect 
it 'closed in failure, on the other side it had proved to 
tlie admiration and belated sympathy of all Europe 
how Poles could fight for freedom. Moreover, it laid 
the' foundation for those later Polish insurrections in 
the cause of liberty which, no less heroic than the 
Rising of Kosciuszko, and with a sequel as tragic, 
are honoured among the world's splendid outbursts of 
nationalism.. ^ " '' 

Following close on this blow came painful partings 
between Kosciuszko and his devoted comrades, 
Kniaziewicz, Kopec, and the remaining Polish officers. 
Kosciuszko, with Niemcewicz and Fiszer, were separ- 



N. 



164 KOSCIUSZKO 

ated from the main army, and sent on under the 
escort of a small body of Russian officers and soldiers. 
With hearts torn by grief they said farewell to their 
friends, never expecting to see them again. Haunted 
by the thought of the unknown fate before them and 
by the terrible news from their country, they set out 
through a snowstorm that blotted out all discernible 
objects, the horses sinking into the snow which 
clogged the carriage wheels at every turn. Rigor- 
ously guarded, each word of their conversation 
noted and handed on to the commander, the prisoners 
were conveyed in as great secrecy as possible, and 
were not allowed to halt at any large town. At 
Czernihov two Cossack officers brought them a tray 
of fine apples, telling them — they spoke in Polish — 
that Polish blood flowed in their veins and that they 
deeply deplored the lot of the captives. More they 
were about to add when the Russian guard drove them 
off. Traversing White Ruthenia, a country that had 
so lately been Poland's, the people watched them 
pass, not in curiosity, but rather with looks of interest 
and compassion. As they changed horses before a 
posting-house in Mohylev a tall, thin old peasant, 
in Polish costume, was observed by the prisoners 
among the groups that pressed around them to be 
gazing at them with eyes filled with pity, till at last, 
unable to contain himself longer, he broke his way 
through to them, weeping, only to be thrust aside 
by the Russian officer in charge. At Witebsk, again, 
a band of recruits in the Russian army respectfully 
uncovered their heads as Kosciuszko passed, and he 
knew that they were Poles. These little incidents 
cast their transitory gleam over the journey north, 
as the party pushed on to Petersburg, across the 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 165 

desolate snow-covered plains of Russia, through 
the piercing cold of the Russian winter. At night 
the ' fires of the aurora borealis threw a strange, 
blood-red light over the white, unending country. The 
gloomy silence that held all nature in its grip was only 
broken by an occasional crash of a bough under the 
weight of snow in the great forests through which 
the party passed, or by the wild, sad music of the 
Russian songs with which the postilions beguiled the 
night hours of their journey. Such was the accom- 
paniment to Kosciuszko's forebodings for his future 
and that of his fellow-captives, and to his greater 
anguish over the fate of his nation. 

Petersburg was reached on the loth of December. 
The prisoners were hurried at night through side 
streets, and then put into boats and taken by 
mysterious waterways into the heart of the Peter- 
Paul fortress. Here they were separated, Niemcewicz 
and Fiszer led to a large hall,' and Kosciuszko con- 
ducted to another room. That was the last they 
saw of each other for two years. On the morning 
after his first night of solitary confinement Niem- 
cewicz was brought coffee in a cup that he recognized 
as Kosciuszko's property. This alone told him that 
Kosciuszko was not far off ; and cheered by that 
thought he was able, says he, " to resign himself to 
everything."'' 

The narrative of Niemcewicz, to which we owe the 
story of each step of the journey into Russia, can now, 
beyond a vague report that the poet from time to 
time gleaned from his jailors, tell us next to nothing 
more of Kosciuszko in a Russian prison. Detailed 
information from other sources is wanting, and we 

' J. Niemcewicz, op. cit. 



166 KOSCIUSZKO 

have only a few certain facts to go upon. F or the 
first few months of his imprisonment, Kosciuszko was 
Kept in the fortress as a rebel, not as a vanquished 
enemy. " Rebel " was the term by which he was 
officially styled. Before December was out, he was 
subjected to the usual ordeal of the Russian prison : 
the inquisition. A paper was handed in to him, with 
a long string of questions, which he was ordered to 
answer in his own handwriting, on the relations of 
the Rising with foreign powers, the sources of its 
finances, and so on. It also contained a close cate- 
chetical scrutiny upon the conversations he had 
held with specified persons at such and such a date, 
and on the ins and outs of different incidents during 
the insurrection, that was a severe tax on the memory 
of a wounded man. All that is positively known 
of the inquisition are the questions and Kosciuszko's 
replies. What lay beneath it — what were the means 
of moral torture wielded by those who conducted the 
inquiry, the pitfalls spread for a prisoner who lay 
helpless, racked by pain from the wound in his head ; 
what was the ingenuity employed to wrest his answers 
from him, whether he willed or no, are equally well 
known, says Kosciuszko's historian, Korzon, who had 
himself more than sixty years later languished in a 
Russian dungeon, to those acquainted with the 
methods of the Russian political prison. That 
Kosciuszko, being at the mercy of the enemy who 
interrogated him, spoke as openly as he did regarding 
:the measures that he was prepared to take with 
France and Turkey against Russia, is eloquent, says 
ithe same historian, of the force of his character 
land of his conquest over physical infirmity.^ His 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 167 

answers are short and pithily clear. He speaks the 
truth, says another Pole, or he does not speak at 
all.i 

His high qualities began to gain upon his conquerors. 
At the outset Catherine II in her correspondence 
speaks contemptuously of him as " a fool in all the 
meaning of that word"; but presently her language 
changes to a more complimentary, if still patronizing, 
tone, and after some months slie^had him removed 
from the fortress and conveyed to the Orlov palace, 
as a place more suited to his physically shattered 
condition. He was allowed to be carried into the 
garden and to take drives in the town under guard. 
He was provided with a good table, from which he 
daily sent meals to the Polish prisoners in the fortress. 
Always deft with his fingers, he whiled away the 
hours by working at a turning-lathe. A wooden 
sugar-basin that he made during his imprisonment 
Js now in the Polish Museum at Rapperswil, 
Switzerland. 

All this time he lay sick and crippled. The wounds 
he had carried from Maciejowice, unskilfully tended 
by the Russian surgeons, remained unhealed : grief 
of mind for his country did the- rest. An English 
doctor named Rogerson attended him. He wrote : 
" The physical and mental forces of that upright 
man are nearly exhausted, as the result of long 
sufferings. I am losing hopes of curing him. He 
has suffered so much in body and soul that his 
organism is entirely destroyed."^ 

Two years passed thus. In the November of 
1796 there was an unusual stir in the fortress, which 
to the Poles immured there could mean only one 
» op. cit. » op. cit. 



168 KOSCIUSZKO 

thing : the death of their arch-enemy, Catherine II. 
After a few days the suspicion was confirmed. The 
Empress was scarcely in her coffin before the son she 
had hated, now Paul I, entered Kosciuszko's prison, 
accompanied by his retinue and by the Tsarewitch, 
Alexander, on whom for a transitory moment the 
fondest hopes of Poland were to rest, and whose 
friendship with a son of the house of Czartoryski is 
one of the romances of history. The Tsarewitch 
embraced Kosciuszko, and his father uttered the 
words : "I have come to restore your liberty." The 
shock was "so overwhelming that the prisoner could 
not answer. The Tsar seated himself by Kosciuszko's 
side : and then ensued this remarkable colloquy 
between the Tsar of all the Russias and the hero of 
Polish freedom, which is known to us more or less 
textually from a Russian member of the court who 
was present, and also from the accounts of the 
Polish prisoners, who eagerly picked up its details 
which Niemcewicz collected and recorded. 

" I always pitied your fate," said the Tsar, who, 
in the earlier days of his reign, through the wild 
eccentricity that was more correctly speaking mad- 
ness, was not devoid of generous instincts ; " but 
during my mother's rule I could do nothing to help 
you. But I have now taken it as the first duty of 
my sovereignty to confer freedom upon you. You 
are therefore free." 

Kosciuszko bowed and, after expressing his thanks, 
replied : 

" Sire, I have never grieved for my own fate, but 
I shall never cease to grieve over the fate of my 
country." 

" Forget your country," said Paul. " The same 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 169 

lot has befallen her as so many other states of 
which only the memory has remained in history; 
and in that history you will always be gloriously 
remembered." 

" Would rather that I should be forgotten," was 
Ko^ciuszko's reply, " and my country remain free. 
Certainly many states have fallen, but there is no 
example like the fall of Poland. ... It was in the 
very moment of her uprising, just when she was 
desirous to attain liberty of rule, precisely when she 
showed the greatest energy and patriotism, that 
Poland fell." 

" But confess," went on the Tsar, " that this 
freedom of yours did not agree with the interests of 
the neighbouring states, and that your countrymen 
themselves served as the instrument of the destruction 
of their country." 

" Excuse me, Your Imperial Majesty, from further 
explanations on that point, for I can neither think nor 
speak without strong feehng about my country's 
fall." 

" You do not offend me," graciously repHed Paul ; 
" but on the contrary I esteem you the more, for it 
is the first time that I have spoken to a citizen whom 
I recognize as really loving his country. If at least 
the greater part of the Poles thought as you do, 
Poland might still exist." 

" Sire," said Kosciuszko, with deep emotion, 
" that greater part was certainly there. If only Your 
Imperial Majesty could have been the eyewitness of 
that virtue, that patriotism, of which they gave no 
common proofs in the last Rising ! I know how men 
tried to give Your Imperial Majesty the falsest and 
worst ideas about our nation, because they repre- 



/~-, 



170 KOSCIUSZKO 

sented them in the eyes of the whole world as a 
horde of noisy ruffians, intolerant of rule and law, 
and therefore unworthy of existence. Virtuous and 
universal zeal only for the bettering of the country's lot, 
for freedom from oppression and disorder, was called 
sedition ; the best desires of good citizenship were 
accounted as a crime, and as the result of a brawling 
Jacobinism : finally, not onl}^ against all justice, but 
against the true interests of Russia, the destruction 
of the unhappy country by the complete dismem- 
berment of her territory was given out as the most 
salutary counsel. How many outrages, perilous for 
the lot of every state, have resulted from it ! " said 
he, in words of which we all too clearly have seen 
the truth to-day. " How many fearful consequences, 
what universal misery for its victims ! " 

" See what fire ! " said the Tsar, turning to his 
officers. 

" Pardon me, Sire," said Kosciuszko. " Perhaps I 
was carried too far — perhaps ; " he hesitated. 

But no, the Tsar hastened to reassure him, he had 
given the monarch food for thought, he had spoken to 
his heart. Kosciuszko must ask for every comfort 
he required till he left Petersburg, and must trust 
Paul " as a friend. "» 

This was the first of more than one interview 
between Kosciuszko and the Tsar. At the second 
Kosciuszko begged for the release of all the Polish 
prisoners of the Rising scattered in Russia and 
Siberia. He and his comrades were now permitted 
to visit each other. Niemcewicz has recorded his 
painful impression as he saw his friend for the first 
time since they had entered the prison together, 
' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



THE RUSSIAN PRISON 171 

lying with bandaged head and crippled limb, with 
ravaged nerves, speaking faintly and making signs 
to warn Niemcewicz when the latter raised his voice 
that spies were listening at the door. 

But Paul's pardon was not unconditional. Before 
granting'a' general amnesty he required of Ko^ciuszko 
and the leading Polish prisoners an oath of allegiance 
to himself and his successors. Thus Kosciuszko was 
called upon to face the bitterest sacrifice that even 
he had yet had to confront. On him depended 
whether the prison gates should be opened to twelve 
thousand fellow-Poles. At the cost of the most 
sacred feelings of his heart, after private consultations 
with Ignacy Potocki, who was among the prisoners 
in the fortress, and with whom he agreed that there 
was no alternative but to submit, Kosciuszko accepted 
the intolerable condition laid upon him, and took^ 
the oath. Upon the agony of that internal conflict 
he, with his accustomed reticence, remained silent. 
That there was some external pressure of a most 
harassing description on the part of the Russian 
ministers which tore the oath from his lips is proved 
by his own words in his letter to the Tsar two years 
later. 

His intention was now to go to America, by 
Sweden and England. Rogerson, whose strong esteem 
he had gained, wrote to his friend, the Russian 
ambassador in London, begging him for the sake of 
their friendship to do all that he could for Kosciuszko, 
. and entering into minute recommendations to ensure 
the latter' s well-being in England. Kosciuszko had 
aroused a like admiration in the imperial family. 
At the farewell audience in the Winter Palace he was 
received with 4 pomp detestable to his every instinct, 



172 KOSCIUSZKO 

and carried in Catherine's wheel chair into the Tsar's 
private room. The Tsar loaded him with gifts, 
including a carriage especially adapted to the recum- 
bent position in which he was forced to travel. The 
Tsaritsa chose to give him a costly turning-lathe and 
a set of cameos, while he offered her a snuff-box of 
his own making, which she held in her hand during 
her coronation, showing it with pride to Rogerson as a 
gift which, said she, " puts me in mind of a highly 
instructive moral." ^ These presents from the Russian 
court were intensely galHng to Kosciuszko's feelings. 
He refused as many as he could. The rest that he 
accepted under compulsion he got rid of as soon as 
possible. His return present to the Tsaritsa was an 
act of courtesy, characteristic of Kosciuszko's chivalry 
to women ; but he received with a marked coldness 
the advances of the Tsar, showered upon him in the 
moment's caprice, as was the manner of Paul I.* 
On the 19th of December, 1796, he turned his back 
upon Russia for ever and, accompanied by Niem- 
cewicz, departed for Sweden. 

. I T. Korzon, KoUiuszko. » Ibid. 



CHAPTER IX 

EXILE 

The great and romantic chapter of Kosciuszko's 
history is now closed. Twenty more years of Hfe 
remained to him. Those years were passed in exile. 
He never again saw his country. 

The third partition of Poland was carried out by 
Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1795, while the man 
who had offered his life and liberty to avert it lay 
in a Russian prison. Not even the span of Poland's 
soil which Kosciuszko and his soldiers had watered 
with their blood was left to her. To that extinction f 
of an independent state, lying between Russia and 
the Central Powers, barring the progress of Prussia 
to the Baltic and the East, the most far-seeing 
politicians ascribe the world-war that has been so 
recently devastating the world. 

It was therefore in bitter grief of heart that :?^ 

Kosciuszko set out for Swedem BesTdes j^iemcewicz, ^^ 

he had with him a young Polish officer, named 
Libiszewski, who had eagerly offered himself to serve 
Kosciuszko in any capacity till he reached the United 
States. He carried Kosciuszko to carriage or couch, 
and distracted his sadness by his admirable playing 
on the horn and by his sweet singing. He died 
— still young — of fever in Cuba. 

173 



174 KOSCIUSZKO 

In the short northern day of four hours the party 
made a long and tedious journey, impeded by the 
bitter weather, through the pine forests of Finland. 
The country was buried in snow, and so rough was 
the travelUng that the three Poles had to pass a 
night in the common hall of the inn, with pigs as 
their sleeping companions. Kosciuszko's fame had 
spread all over Europe. SweHeinigW"1ier&elf proud 
that he was her guest, greeting him as " one of the 
greatest men of our century." At Stockholm the 
notables of the city crowded to pay their respects — 
on foot, in order not to disturb the invahd with the 
sound of carriages and horses. He was not, however, 
very accessible. By temperament he shrank from 
either publicity or fame ; and in his state of physical 
and mental suffering he had no heart for the 
honours showered upon him. He systematically 
discouraged the forerunners of the modern inter- 
viewers who were eager for " copy," and as far as 
he could he kept to himself, his relaxations being 
his own drawing, and the music of which he was 
always passionately fond, and with which his Swedish 
admirers were careful to provide him. A Swedish 
writer, who was staying in the same hotel, desired 
to visit him, but dared not do so, partly for fear of 
intruding upon him, and partly because he owned 
that he could not keep from tears at the sight of the 
PoHsh patriot, so deeply had Kosciuszko's history 
affected the pubHc of those days. Finally, he made 
the plunge, and asked Kosciuszko's permission 
for a 3^oung Swedish painter to take his portrait. 
Kosciuszko courteously refused ; but an engraver 
surreptitiously took notes of his features, and 
reproduced them in a hkeness that travelled all 



EXILE 175 

over Sweden, depicting him, as our own Cosway 
did afterwards, reclining, " his face," says the 
Swedish description, " expressing the sufferings of 
his soul over his country's fate."^ 

From Stockholm Kosciuszko passed on to Goteborg 
to await a ship for England. Here too the inhabi- 
tants vied with each other to do him honour, and 
arranged amateur concerts for him in his rooms. 
On the i6th of May the Poles embarked. After 
three weeks' passage in a small merchant vessel, they 
landed at Gravesend, and thence reached London. 
" Kosciuszko, the hero of freedom, is here," announced 
the Gentleman' s Magazine ; and indeed the Enghsh 
papers were full of him. He stayed in Leicester 
Square. The whole of London made haste to 
visit him. The leading politicians, including Fox, 
men of letters, among whom we find Sheridan, the 
beauties of the day and the rulers of fashion, all 
ahke thronged his rooms. To Walter Savage Landor, 
then a mere youth, the sight of Kosciuszko awoke 
the sympathy for Poland that he never lost, to which 
English literature owes one of his Imaginary Con- 
versations. More than half a century later he looked 
back to the moment in which he spoke to Kosciuszko 
as the happiest of his hfe. The Whig Club presented 
Kosciuszko with a sword of honour. The beautiful 
Duchess of Devonshire pressed upon him a costly 
ring, which went the way of most of the gifts that 
Kosciuszko received : he gave them away to friends. 
All such tokens of admiration had never counted 
for anything in Kosciuszko's life, and now they were 
the merest baubles to a man who had seen his country 
fall. In the portrait that, against his wish and without 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



176 KOSCIUSZKO 

his knowledge, Cosway painted, said by Niemcewicz to 
resemble him as none other, we see him, lying with 
bandaged head in an attitude of deep and sorrowful 
musing. The face, the whole attitude, are those of 
one absorbed by an overmastering grief that filled 
his soul to the exclusion of all else. The fine portrait 
has found its way to Kosciuszko's native land, and 
is now in Warsaw. The EngUsh doctor recommended 
by Rogerson attended Ko^ciuszko assiduously, and 
the Russian ambassador's kindness was so unfailing 
that Kosciuszko, sending him his farewells as he 
left England, wrote : "If ever I recover part of my 
health it will be sweet to me to remember that it is 
to your attentions, to the interest that you took in 
me, that I shall owe it."i 

Bristol was at that time the Enghsh port of saiUngs 
for America. It was there that after a fortnight's 
stay in London Kosciuszko betook himself, passing a 
night in Bath on the way. He found in Bristol old 
friends of his American days. He was the guest of 
one of them, now the United States consul, as long 
as he stayed in the town. A guard of honour received 
him, long processions of the townsfolk flocked to 
catch a ghmpse of him, a mihtary band played 
every evening before the consulate, and the city 
gave him a handsome silver service. An Enghshman 
who visited him in Bristol records the impression 
that Kosciuszko made on all who saw him, of one 
whose whole being breathed devotion to his country. 
* The same witness speaks of a soul unbroken by 
misfortune, by wounds, poverty, and exile ; of an 
eagle glance, of talk full of wit and wisdom. 

The course down the Avon to the point where 

' T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



EXILE 177 

Kosciuszko's ship lay at anchor was a triumphal 
progress. He was accompanied by English officers 
in full dress, by the American consul and a host 
of well-wishers. All heads were bared as he was 
carried on board. The whole length of the river 
handkerchiefs were waved from the banks. Fare- 
wells resounded from every rock and promontory, 
where spectators had crowded to see the last of the 
Polish hero. Boats shot out from the private 
dwellings on the waterside, laden with flowers and 
fruits for the departing guest. Not a few men and 
women boarded the ship and accompanied Kosciuszko 
for some distance before they could bring themselves 
to part with him. 

For nearly two months Kosciuszko and his Polish 
companions tossed on the Atlantic, running on one 
occasion a near chance of shipwreck. Philadelphia 
was their destination. Once in America, Kosciuszko 
trod soil familiar and dear to him. " I look upon 
America," he said, replying in FreficE^ to the 
3eputation of Philadelphia's citizens who came on 
board to welcome him, " as my second country, and 
I feel myself too happy when I return to her." The 
cannon from the fort and a storm of cheering greeted 
him as he landed, and amidst cries of " Long live 
Kosciuszko ! " the citizens drew his carriage to his 
lodging. 

Washington had just ceased to be President. 
His successor, Adams, wrote congratulating Kos- 
ciuszko on his arrival, " after the glorious efforts 
you have made on a greater theatre. "^ Washington 
wrote also : " Having just been informed of your 
safe arrival in America, I was on the point of writing 

I op. cit. 
12 



178 KOSCIUSZKO 

to you a congratulatory letter on the occasion, wel- 
coming you to the land whose liberties you have 
been so instrumental in establishing, when I received 
your favour of the 23rd. [A letter of Kosciuszko's 
with a packet he had been requested to convey to 
Washington.] ... I beg you to be assured that 
no one has a higher respect and veneration for your 
character than I have ; and no one more sincerely 
wished, during your arduous struggle in the cause 
of liberty and your country, that it might be crowned 
with success. But the ways of Providence are 
inscrutable, and mortals must submit. I pray you 
to believe that at all times and under any circum- 
stances it would make me happy to see you at my 
last retreat, from which I never expect to be more 
than twenty miles again. "' 

The story of the meeting between Washington and 
Ko^ciuszko, of Kosciuszko's words, " Father, do you 
recognize your son ? " is a myth. They met neither 
in Philadelphia nor elsewhere. The above letter is 
the last indication of any intercourse between them. 
Washington at this period was regarded with no 
favour by the democracy. Kosciuszko's sympathies 
were with the latter and with Jefferson, and he never 
accepted the invitation to Washington's home in 
Mount Vernon. 

Yellow fever breaking out in Philadelphia, 
Ko^ciuszko went for a time elsewhere : first~to New 
York, to the beautiful house of his old friend and. 
commander, Gates, later to New Brunswick, where 
he stayed with another friend of the past. General 
White, in a family circle that attracted his warm 
regard. He was still confined to his sofa, and amused 

» Writings oj George Washington, ed. Jared Sparks. 



EXILE 179 

himself by his favourite pastime of drawing and 
painting, tended by the ladies of the house with a 
solicitude which drew from him after he had gone 
back to Philadelphia a charming " hospitable roof " 
letter. I have been unable to see the original English 
in which Kosciuszko wrote this letter, which is 
given in a privately printed American memoir. I am 
therefore obliged to translate it from the Polish 
version, which is in its turn a translation into Polish 
from Kosciuszko's English. We therefore lose the 
flavour of Kosciuszko's not wholly correct manipu- 
lation of our language : — 

" Madam, 

" I cannot rest till I obtain your forgiveness in 
all its fulness for the trouble I gave you during my 
stay in your house. . . . Perhaps I was the cause of 
depriving you of amusements more suited to your 
liking and pleasure, than busying yourself with me. 
You never went out to pay visits. You were kind 
enough to ask me daily what I liked, what I did not 
like : all my desires were carried out ; all my wishes 
were anticipated, to gratify me and to make my 
stay agreeable. Let me receive an answer from you, 
forgiving me, I beg Eliza [her daughter] to inter- 
cede for me. I owe you too great a debt to be able 
to express it in words adequate to my obligation and 
my gratitude. Let this suffice, that I shall never 
forget it, and that its memory will never be extin- 
guished for even one moment in my heart." ^ 

He gave these ladies some of the splendid presents 
he had received from the Russian Tsar : magnificent 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



180 KOSCIUSZKO 

furs, a necklace of Siberian corals, and to White 
himself the Duchess of Devonshire's ring. His 
memory went down through the family, and Mrs. 
White's grandson often heard his grandmother tell 
of her Polish guest, and how she held no other man his 
equal — with the patriotic exception of Washington ! 
White was a valuable auxiliary to Kosciuszko in a 
somewhat intricate piece of business. To live on the 
gift of money which Paul I had given him was an 
odious position that Kosciuszko would not tolerate. 
It was his intention to return it, and to claim from 
Congress the arrears of the stipend owing to him 
from 1788, and that through some mischance had 
never reached him. W^ith White's assistance a 
portion of the American sum was handed over to 
him; but the return of the Tsar's present was not 
so easy. Niemcewicz pointed out that such a pro- 
ceeding would infallibly rouse the revenge of the 
Tsar upon the Poles in his dominions. This decision 
was against Ko^ciuszko's personal feeling on the 
matter. He bided his time, and, as we shall see, 
at a more propitious moment took his own counsel. 
A bevy of visitors and admirers again surrounded 
Kosciuszko in Philadelphia. Among them were the 
future Louis Philippe, with the Princes de Montpensier 
and Beaujolais. They called themselves citizens 
of France, and sported the tricolour. They often 
spent the evening with Kosciuszko, and on their 
farewell visit Kosciuszko gave the younger prince 
a pair of fur boots. But the man with whom 
Kosciuszko was on the closest and warmest terms of 
intimacy was Thomas Jefferson. The pastel portrait 
that Kosciuszko painted of this dear friend is pre- 
served among Poland's national relics. " He," wrote 



EXILE 181 

Jefferson to Gates, " is the purest son of liberty 
among you all that I have ever known, the kind 
of ' liberty which extends to all, not only to the 
rich."i To Jefferson Kosciuszko confided the testa- 
ment of his American property, which he had been 
granted from Congress on the close of the War of 
Independence, and which lay in Ohio on the site of 
the present city of Columbus ; to Jefferson, again, 
was entrusted the conduct of Kosciuszko's secret 
departure from the States in 1798. 

Some time in the March of that year a packet of 
letters from Europe was handed to Kosciuszko. 
His emotion on reading the contents was so strong 
that, despite his crippled condition, he sprang from 
his couch and staggered without a helping hand to 
the middle of the room. " I must return at once 
to Europe," he said to General White, with no 
further explanation. Jefferson procured him a pass- 
port to France under a false name, and then with 
only Jefferson's knowledge, with no word either to 
Niemcewicz or to his servant, for both of whom he 
left a roll of money in a drawer in his cupboard, he 
sailed for France. Before he embarked he wrote out 
the will that he sent to Jefferson in which, more than 
half a century before the war of North and South, 
the Polish patriot pleaded for th e emanc ipation of 
th£-Jie^ra§lay es . " ■"""^ 



" I, Thaddeus Kosciuszko " — the text is the ' ^"^ 
original English — " being just in my departure from 
America, do hereby declare and direct that should 
I make no other testamentary disposition of my 
property in the United States thereby authorize my 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



,') 



182 KOSCIUSZKO 

' friend Thomas Jefferson to employ the whole thereof 
in purchasing jie^roes from among his own as any 
others and giving them liberty in my name7in~giving 
them an education in trades or otherwise, and in 
haying them instructed for their new condition in 
the duties 'oT~mofality which may make them good 
neighbours, good fathers or mothers, husbands or 
wives, and in their duties as citizens, teaching them 
to be defenders of their liberty and country and of 
the good order of society and in whatsoever may make 
them happy and useful, and I make the said Thomas 

, Jefferson my executor of this. 

- " T. KosciuszKO. 

" 5th day of May, 1798." 

There seems to have been some difficulty in the 
way of putting the bequest into effect, perhaps, 
suggests Korzon, on account of Jefferson's advanced 
years by the time that the testator was dead. It 
was never carried out ; but in 1826 the legacy went to 
found the coloured school at Newark, theTSrst edu- 
cational institute for negroes to be opened in the 
United States, and which bore Kosciuszko's name. 

The secret of his movements is easily deciphered 
in a man of Kosciuszko's stamp. It was the call of 
his country that drew him back to Europe. 

For we have reached that period of Polish history 
which belongs to the Polish legions : the moment 
of brilliance and of glo"ry whe'ff; led by the Polish 
flags, Polish soldiers in the armies of Napoleon shed 
their blood on every battlefield of Europe. In the 
hope of regaining from Napoleon the freedom of their 
country, the former soldiers of the Republic, no less 
than the rising young Polish manhood, panting with 



EXILE 183 

passionate g^Ltriotism and with thejvvarlike instinct 
' of~their"^ace, enrolfe^ 'themselves nr~the French 
SLttnyT"^' Poland has not perished while we live," 
was the song, the March of Domhrowski, with which 
they went to battle, and which to this da3^ forbidden 
though it has been by their oppressors, we may hear 
Poles sing at national gatherings. The leader of the 
legions was the gallant Dombrowski. " Fellow- 
citizens ! Poles ! " cried he" in his manifesto to his 
nation in language strangely prophetic of the hour 
that is scarcely past, when we have seen a PoHsh 
army in Polish uniform fighting for liberty by the 
side of the AlHes in the European War : " Hope is 
rising ! France is conquering. The battahons are 
forming. Comrades, join us ! Fhng away the 
weapons which you have been compelled to bear. 
Let us fight for the common cause of all the nations, 
for freedom."^ 

In these early days Js^apoleon's betrayal of Poland C 
was a tale still untold ; but to the end the Poles ;■ 
fought by his side with a hope in him that only ., 
died with his fall, with a love and loyalty to his |^^ 
person that survived it. 

Such was the news that travelled across the 
Atlantic to Kosciuszko with dispatches that informed 
him that his two nephews, sons of his sister Anna, 
who had borne arms in the Rising, had been sent in 
the name of Kosciuszko by their mother to Bonaparte 
with the prayer that they might serve in his ranks. 
By the end of June , 1798, Kosciuszko was in France, 
in Bayonne. ~~ 

The accustomed acclamations greeted him there. 
Some fit e-champetre was arranged at which Kosciuszko, 

« T. Korzon, Kosciuszko 



184 KOSCIUSZKO 

the guest of honour, watched peasants laying their 
ploughs at the feet of soldiers, in exchange for the 
weapons of war. " It would have been thus in 
Poland," he was heard to murmur to himself, " if 
fate had not betrayed us." 

In Paris he heard sympathy with himself and the 
Polish cause expressed on all siHesT^" PubTIc~toasts to 
the defender of the nation who was pouring her 
blood like water in the cause of France were the 
order of the hour. Ko^ciuszko was moved to tears 
as he listened to the utterance of these good wishes for 
his country's liberation. His first task was to confer 
with the various foreign ambassadors and with 
Dombrowski's adjutant, Dombrowski being in Italy. 
He then definitely broke the bond between himself 
and P aul L He~reIurne3l~fEgjmoney i^ce^^ from 
the Tsar" with the following letter : — 

" I am profiting by the first moment of liberty which 
I am enjoying under the fostering laws of the greatest 
and noblest of nations to send you back a gift, to 
the acceptance of which I was forced by the mani- 
festations of your benevolence and the merciless 
proceedings of your ministers. If I agreed to accept 
it, let Your Majesty ascribe this only to the uncon- 
querable strength of the attachment which I bear to 
my compatriots, the companions of my misfortunes, 
as well as to m}^ hopes of still serving my country. 
It seemed to me that my unhappy condition moved 
your heart, but your ministers and their satellites 
did not proceed with me according to your wishes. 
Therefore, since they have dared to ascribe to my 
free resolution an act to which they forced me, I will 
disclose their violence and perfidy before you and 
before all men who know the worth of honour, and 



EXILE 185 

may they only be answerable before you, Sire, for 
the proclamation of their unworthy conduct. "^ 

At the same time that Kosciuszko forwarded this 
letter to the Tsar he pubHshed it in two French 
papers. The Tsar^'s reply was to return the sum 
through the Russian ambassador in Vienna, with 
the remark that he would " accept nothing from 
tjaitors." It lay untouched in an English bank 
till Kosciuszko's death. 

Even before the repudiation of Kosciuszko's oath 
reached Petersburg the fact of his arrival in France 
had roused the wrath of Paul's envoy in Berlin, 
who deliberated with the Prussian ministers how to 
impede " the criminal intentions of the chief per- 
petrator and instigator ^f the jrevolution in'Poland." 
Kosciuszko's instant arrest was decreed, should he 
ever be seen within the boundaries of Russia's 
domination, and any one who entered into relations 
with him there was branded as a traitor. Austria 
and Prussia followed suit. Thus was Kosciuszko's 
return to his own country barred before him. 

Closely watched by Russian and Prussian spies, 
who communicated, often erroneously, to their 
respective governments the movements of " that 
adventurer," as one of them styles him, Kosciuszko 
had his headquarters in Paris. He was there when 
Kniaziewlcz, fresh from the triumphs of the legions 
in Italy, brought him, in the name of Poland, 
Sobieski's sword. It had been preserved at Loreto, 
whither the deliverer of Vienna had sent it more 
than a century ago, after his triumph over the Turks. 
The newly founded Republic of Rome presented it to 
the officers of the Polish legions in 1798, who destined 

» T. Korzon, Koiciuseko. 



186 KOgCIUSZKO 

it for Kosciuszko. " God grant," said Ko^ciuszko, 
in his letter of acknowledgment to his fellow-Poles, 

r " that we may lay down our swords together with 
the sword of Sobieski in the temple of peace, having 
won freedom and universal happiness for our com- 

' patriots. "' 

For a while Kosciuszko, continuously corresponding 
with the French government, acted more or less as 
the head of the legions. But wKen in October, 
ifgg;' ihe government officially offered him the 
leadership of the legions, he refused, for the reason 
that he saw no sign that France was prepared to 
recognize their distinct entity as a PoHsh national 
army, and because he suspected Bonaparte would 
use them merely as French regiments — a " corps of 
mercenaries," as the Pohsh patriot bitterly exclaims 
— for his own ends. He had written — September, 
1799 — to the Directory, eloquently reminding France 
that the Pohsh legions were founded to fight for the 
independence of Poland, and that in the hope of 
freedom the Poles had gladly fought " enemies who 
were, besides their own, the enemies of freedom," 
but that their dearest hopes had already been deceived. 
" These considerations impel me to beg you to show 
us some ray of hope regarding the restoration of 
independence to our country. "^ He required guar- 
antees from Bonaparte, and these he never received. 
Young Bonaparte and the Pole met for the first 
time on the former's return from his brilliant 
Egyptian campaign, when he called on Kosciuszko, 
Kniaziewicz being also in the room. The interview 
was brief and courteous. " I greatly wished," said 
Napoleon, " to make the acquaintance of the hero of 

» Letters of Kosciuszko. / * T. Korzon, Koiciuszko. 



EXILE 187 

the North." " And I," rephed Kosciuszko, " am 
happy to see the conqueror of Europe and the hero 
of the East." At a subsequent official banquet at 
which Kosciuszko was present, some instinct warned 
him of the course Napoleon's ambition was to take. 
"Be on your guard against that young man," he 
said on that occasion to certain members of the 
French government ; and a few days later Napoleon 
proclaimed himself First Consul. From that time 
Kosciuszko began to withdraw from relations with 
French officialdom, and to concern himself only 
with the private matters of the Polish legions, not 
with their public affairs. Lebrun reproached him for 
showing his face no more among the high officers 
of state. " You are now all so grand," replied the 
son of the simple, far-distant Lithuanian home, 
" that I in my modest garb am not worthy to go 
among you." In 1801 came the Treaty of Luneville 
with Napoleon's bitter deception of Poland's hopes. 
Rage and despair filled the Polish legions. Numbers 
of their soldiers tendered their resignations. Others 
remained in the French army, and were sent by 
Napoleon, to rid himself of them, said his enemies, 
oil the disastrous expedition to San Domingo. Done 
to death by yellow fever, by the arms of the natives 
and the horrible onslaughts of the negroes' savage 
dogs, four hundred alone survived to return. 

HencefortlT Kosciuszko would have nothing further 
to say to Bonaparte. Before a large audience at a 
gathering in the house of Lebrun the latter called 
out to Kosciuszko : " Do you know. General, that 
the First Consul has been speaking about you ? " 
" I never speak about him," Kosciuszko answered 
curtly, and he visited Lebrun no more. The anguish 



188 KOSCIUSZKO 

of this fresh wro ng to his nation wen.t f ar to break 
himT He again suffered intensely from the wound 
in his head, and old age seemed suddenly to come 
upon him. Many of the Polish soldiers who had 
left the legions were homeless and penniless. These 
Kosciuszko took pains to recommend to his old 
friend Jefferson, now President of the United States. 
"God bless you" — so Jefferson ends his reply — "and 
preserve you still for a season of usefulness to your 
country." I 

Kosciuszko's intercourse with his American friends 
did not slacken. At the request of one of them he 
wrote a t reatise in French on artiller y that, trans- 
lated in the United States into English, became a 
textbook at West Point. 

About this time Kosciuszko came across a Ssiss 
family whose name will ever sound gratefully to the 
Polish ear as the friends under whose roof he found 
the domestic hearth that gladdened his declining 
years. The Republican sympathies of the Zeltjiej: 
brothers, one of whom was the diplomatic repre- 
sentative of Switzerland in France, first attracted 
Kosciuszko to them. Their relations soon grew 
intimate ; and Kosciuszko's first visit in their house, 
his sojourn with them in the country at Berville, 
near Fontainebleau, that reminded him of the Poland 
he had lost for ever, were the beginning of a common 
household that only death severed. 

Napoleon became emperor. He crushed Prussia at 
Jena, from Berlin summoned the Poles in " Prussian " 
Poland to rise, and sent his minister, Fouche, to 
Kosciuszko, as the leader whose name every Pole 

I Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies of Thomas Jefferson, 
ed. Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Charlottesville, 1829. 



EXILE 189 

would follow, to engage him to place himself at their 
head. Kosciuszko received these proposals with the 
caution of a long and bitter experience. Would 
Napoleon, he asked, openly state what he intended 
to do for Poland ? Fouche put him off with vague 
promises of the nature that the Poles had already 
heard, and of which the Treaty of Luneville had 
taught them the worth, coupled with threats of 
Napoleon's personal vengeance on Kosciuszko if he 
opposed the Emperor's desire. " The Emperor," 
answered Kosciuszko, " can dispose of me according 
to his will, but I doubt if in that case my nation 
would render him any service. But in the eyent 
of mutual, reciprocal services my nation,' as well as I, 
will be ready to serve him. May Providence forbid," 
he added solemnly, " that your powerful and august 
monarch shall have cause to regret that he despised 
our goodwill."^ 

But the tide of Napoleonic worship ran too high 
not to carry all before it. Kosciuszko's was the one 
dissentient voice. Before the interview with Fouche 
had taken place, Wybicki and Dombrowski, unable 
to conceive that Kosciuszko would take a different 
line, had given their swords to the Emperor. Jozef 
Poniatowski did likewise. In November, 1808, 
Napoleon entered Poznan (Posen). In the same 
month the French armies were in Warsaw, and the 
Poles, in raptures of rejoidng, were haihng Napoleon 
as~the liberator of their nation. Fouche, already 
cognizant of Kosciuszko's attitude, issued a bogus 
manifesto, purporting to be from Kosciuszko, sum- 
moning his countrymen to Napoleon's flag. But 
Kosciuszko himself only consented to repair to 

I T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



190 KOSCITJSZKO 

Warsaw, and throw his weight into the balance for 
Napoleon, if the Emperor would sign in writing and 
( publicly proclaim his promise to restore Poland under 

the following three conditions : — 

(i) That the form of Poland's government should 

be that of the English constitution ; 

(2) That the peasants should be liberated and 
possess their own land ; and 

(3) That the old boundaries of Poland should be 
reinstated. 

He wrote to this effect to Fouche, and privately 
told a Polish friend that if the Emperor consented 
to these conditions he would fall at his feet and 
swear to the gratitude of the whole nation. ^ The 
reply given by Napoleon to Fouche was that he 
^ attached " no importance to Kosciuszko. His con- 
* duct proves' thaTftg" IS only a fool." 2 

"Active service for Poland was thus closed to 
Kosciuszko. Anxious to leave a Napoleon-ridden 
France, he requested permission to retire to Switzer- 
land. It was refused, and he had nothing for it 
but to remain in his French country retreat, under 
police supervision. He stayed there for the five 
years tEaf"Napoleon's conquests shook the world", 
"condemning with his whole soul the spread of an 
empire on ruin and bloodshed, occupying himself 
with his favourite hobbies of gardening and handi- 
crafts, working at his turning and making wooden 
clogs. The family with whom he lived was as his 
own. His name was given to the three children who 
were born since his residence under its roof : the 
only one of them who survived infancy — Taddea 

' General Paszkowski, History of Tadeusz Kosciuszko. Cracow, 
1872 (Polish), 2 Napoleon I, Coyrespondance. Paris, 1863. 



EXILE 191 

Emilia — became the beloved child of Kosciuszko's old 
age. The eldest son learnt from him love for Poland 
and fought in the Pohsh Rising of 1830. 

The story of the Russian campaign of 1812, with 
the passion of hope that it evoked in the Polish 
nation and its extinction in the steppes of Russia, 
need not be repeated here. In March, 1814, the 
allied armies and the monarchs of Russia and Prussia 
entered Paris. 

Alexander I, the youth who had visited Kosciuszko 
in prison, was now Tsar of Russia. In the days when 
Alexander was a neglected heir at the court of 
Catherine II young Adam Czartoryski was a hostage 
at the same court, concealing his yearning for his 
country and loathing for his surroundings under the 
icy reserve that was his only defence. One day 
Alexander drew the young prince aside in the palace 
gardens, told him that he had long observed him 
with sympathy and esteem, and that it was his 
intention when he succeeded to the throne to restore 
Poland. This was the beginning of that strange 
friendship which led to a Pole directing the foreign 
policy of Russia in the years preceding the Congress 
of Vienna, and ended in Alexander's betrayal of 
Czartoryski's nation. 

But in the spring of 18 14 Alexander was still of 
liberal and generous tendencies. That Kosciuszko 
must have left a strong impression on his memory 
is evident ; for on entering Paris he performed the 
graceful act of charging the PoHsh officers about him 
with courteous messages for the patriot of Poland. 
Kosciuszko never lost an opportunity of furthering 
the cause to which his life was devoted. He at 
once wrote to the Tsar, venturing, so he said, from 



192 KOSCIUSZKO 

his " remote corner " of the world to lay three 
requests before him. The first was that Alexander 
s'hould proclaim a general amnesty for t he Poles in 
his dominions and that the Polish peasants, dispersed 
in foreign countries, should be considered not serfs, 
but free men, on their return to Poland ; the second, 
that Alexander should proclaim himself king of a 
free Poland, to be ruled by a constitution on the 
pattern of England's, and that sc hools f^ r.^he 
peasantry should be opened at the cost of the state 
as the certain means of ensuring to them their liberty. 
" If," he added, " my requests are granted, I will 
come in person, although sick, to cast myself at 
the feet of Your Imperial Majesty to thank you 
and to render you homage as to my sovereign. If 
my feeble talents can still be good for anything, 
I will immediately set out to rejoin my fellow- 
citizens so as to serve my countfy and my 
sovereign honourably and faithfully. "^ 

He then asks a private favour — not for himself : 
that Zeltner, who had a large family to support and 
whom Kosciuszko was too poor to help, might be 
given some post in the new French government, 
or in Poland. 

He received no answer ; and so came into Paris 
and obtained an audience. Alexander greeted him 
as an honoured friend, and bade him be assured of 
his good intentions towards Poland. A stream of 
visits and receptions then set in, at which Kosciuszko 
was the recipient of public marks of esteem, not 
only from the Tsar, but from his brother, the 
Grand Duke Constantine, whose ill-omened name 

I d'Angeberg, Rectieil des Traitis, Conventions ei Actes Diplo- 
tnatiques concernant la Pologne, 1762- 1862. Paris, 1862. 



EXILE 193 

was later to win for itself the execration of the Polish 
nation. But Kosciuszko was too far-sighted to 
content himself with promises. He asked for a 
written^ statement of what his country fnight expect 
from the TsarT' Alexander answered, on the 3rd of 
May, 1814 : 

" Your dearest wishes will be accomplished. With 
the aid of the Almighty I hope to bring about the 
resurrection of the valiant and admirable nation 
to which you belong. I have taken upon myself 
this solemn obligation. . . , Only pohtical circum- 
stances have placed obstacles against the execution 
of my intentions. Those obstacles no longer exist, 
. . . Yet a Uttle more time and prudence, and the 
Poles shall regain their country, their name, and 
I shall have the pleasure of convincing them that, 
forgetting the past, the man whom they held for 
their enemy is the man who shall fulfil their 
desires." i 

Further personal interviews followed between 
Kosciuszko and the Tsar. Later, Kosciuszko called 
upon these as his witness when, at the Congress of 
y Vienna, Alexander went back upon his given word. 
The question of Poland was now to come up in the 
European Congress, as one of the most pressing 
problems of the stabiUty of Europe. Alexander I's 
intention was to found a kingdom of Poland of which 
he should be crowned king. Adam Czartoryski, 
Alexander's Minister for Foreign Affairs, requested 
Kosciuszko to repair to Vienna and dehberate with 
himself and the Tsar upon the matter. Napoleon 
was back from Elba and marching on Paris, and to 
ensure the possibihty of prosecuting a journey under 

' op. cit. 
13 



194 KOSCIUSZKO 

the complications of the hour Kosciuszko was advised 
to have his passport made out under some name 
not his own. He chose that of " Pole." 

With considerable difficulty, constantly turned 
back by police authorities, forbidden entrance by 
the Bavarian frontier, sent about from pillar to 
post, the white-haired, frail old soldier at last reached 
the Tsar's headquarters at Braunau. The Tsar and 
he conferred for a quarter of an hour. Kosciuszko 
derived small satisfaction from the interview, and 
immediately proceeded to visit Czartoryski in Vienna. 
Czartoryski had nothing good to tell. The wrangling 
over the Pohsh question at the Congress, the mutual 
suspicions and jealousies of every power represented, 
nearly brought about another war. In May, 1815, 
Russia, Austria, and Prussia signed an agreement for 
a renewed division of Poland between them. An 
autonomous Kingdom of Poland was, it is true, to 
be formed, with the Tsar as king, but only out of a 
small part of Poland. As regards the remaining 
Polish provinces that remained under Russia's rule, 
they were severed from the Kingdom and incorporated 
with Russia, 

Kosciuszko heard these things. Under the shock 
of his apprehensions he wrote to the Tsar, plead- 
ing in the strongest language at his command, 
that penetrates through the diplomatic wording he 
was compelled to use, against the separation of 
lands that were Polish from the mother country, 
the mutilated Kingdom of Poland. 

After expressing his gratitude for what the Tsar 
was prepared to do in the foundation of the new 
Kingdom of Poland, he proceeds : 

" One only anxiety troubles my soul and my joy. 



EXILE 195 

Sire, I was born a Lithuanian, and I have only a 
few years to hve. Nevertheless, the veil of the 
future still covers the destiny of my native land and 
of so many other provinces of my country, I do 
not forget the magnanimous promises that Your 
Majesty has deigned to make me by word of mouth 
in this matter, as well as to several of my compatriots 
- . . but my soul, intimidated by such long mis- 
fortunes, needs to be reassured again." He is 
prepared faithfully to serve Alexander : let the writer 
descend to the tomb in " the consohng certainty 
that all your Pohsh subjects will be called to bless 
your benefits."! 

In vain he waited for an answer. Then, openly, 
as to the Tsar he could not write, he wrote to 
Czartoryski : 

"My Dear Prince, 

" You are certainly convinced that to serve 
my country efficaciously is my chief object. The 
refusal of the Tsar to answer my last letter 
removes from me the possibihty of being of 
service to her. I have consecrated my hfe to the 
greater part of the nation, when to the whole it was 
not possible, but not to that small part to which is 
given the pompous name of the Kingdom of Poland 
We should give grateful thanks to the Tsar for the 
resuscitatT6n~oirfhe~1ost "PoTisTrnajner but" a^~n'ame ^ 

alone does not constitute a nation. ... I see no 
gioarahtee' of "the" "promise of the Tsar made to me 
and many others of the restoration of our country 
from the Dnieper to the Dzwiha, the old boundaries 

' d'Angeberg, Recueil des Traites, Conventions et Actes Dipio- 
matiques concernant la Pologne. 



196 KOSCIUSZKO 

of the Kingdom of Poland, except only in our desires." 
[That restoration alone, says Kosciuszko, can establish 
sound and friendly relations between Poland and 
Russia. If a free and distinct constitution of such a 
kingdom be conferred upon Poland, the Poles might 
enjoy happiness.] " But as things go now, and 
from the very beginning, Russians hold together with 
ours the first places in the government. That 
certainly cannot inspire Poles with any great con- 
fidence. On the contrary, with dread each of us 
will form the conclusion that the Polish name will 
in time be held in contempt, and that the Russians 
will treat us as their conquered subjects, for such a 
scanty handful of a population will never be able 
to defend itself against the intrigues, the prepon- 
derance and the violence of the Russians. And 
can we keep silence on those brothers of ours remain- 
ing under the Russian government ? " [Lithuania 
and Ruthenia.] " Our hearts shudder and suffer that 
they are not united to the others." ^ 

Again Kosciuszko's unerring single-mindedness and 
high patriotism had pierced through all illusions 
and foretold the truth. His words were literally 
verified. Fifteen years later Europe saw his nation 
driven into an armed conflict for the rights that had 
been promised to her by Alexander, that were 
trampled upon by him and his successor, and the 
man, to whom the above warning was addressed, 
outlawed by the Russian Government for the part 
he played in the insurrection. 

Kosciuszko also wrote to Lord Grey to the same 
effect. Grey replied : 

» T. Korzon, Kosciuszko. 



EXILE 197 

" To that first violation of the sacred principles of 
general liberty which was effected in the partition of 
1772, and those that followed in 1793 and 1795, we 
must refer all the dangers to which the whole of 
Europe has been subsequently exposed. . . . No real 
safeguard can exist against the return of these dangers, 
if Poland remains excluded from the benefits of a 
general deliverance, which, to be perfect, must be 
guaranteed by the solemn recognition of her rights 
and independence. If the powers who sought to 
profit by injustice and who, in the sequence, have 
suffered so much because of it, could learn the true 
lesson of experience, they would see that their mutual 
safetj^ and tranquiUty would be best preserved by 
reestablishing among them, as a genuinely inde- 
pendent state, the country that a false policy has 
so cruelly oppressed." (Portman Square, London, 
July I, 1814.)! 

This was written a hundred years ago, and the 
Nemesis of history is still with us. The Congress of 
Vienna was a fresh partition of Poland. 

If, so Kosciuszko wrote to Alexander, he could 
have returned " as a Pole to his country," hejwould 
have done so. As it was, he refused to return to 
what he knew was treachery and deception. With 
the aspect of a man .who had suffered shipwreck, he 
left Vienna, and retired for good and all from public 

ufs: 

~"'He was now sixty-nine, with his health, that 
he had never regained since he was wounded at 
Maciejowice, broken. All that he asked was to spend 
his declining years in free Switzerland with a little 
house and garden of his own. When it came to the 

' d'Angeberg, Recueil des Traites. 



198 KOSCIUSZKO 

point he took up his abode with the devoted Zeltners 
in Soleure, and his last days passed in peace among 
them. He prepared his morning coffee himself in 
his room, upon the walls of which hung a picture 
painted in sepia after his own indications of that 
glorious memory of his life — the battle of Raclawice. 
He dined at the family table, and enjoyed his evening 
rubber of whist with the Zeltners, the family doctor, 
and a Swiss friend. Every hour was regularly 
employed. In the mornings he always wrote : 
what, we do not know, for he left orders to his 
executors to destroy his papers, and unfortunately 
was too well obeyed. In the afternoons he walked 
or rode out, generally on errands of mercy. The 
little girl of the house was his beloved and constant 
companion ; and we have a pretty picture of the 
veteran hero of Poland teaching this child history, 
mathematics, and above all, drawing. His delight 
was to give children's parties for her amusement, 
at which he led the games and dances and told stories. 
He was the most popular of playmates. His appear- 
ance in the roads was thBsignaTfor an onslaught of 
his child friends with gifts of flowers, while he never 
failed to rifle his pockets of the sweets with v^hich 
he had stuffed them for the purpose. He loved not 
only children, but all young people. The young 
men and girls of the neighbourhood looked upon 
him as a father, and went freely to him for sympathy 
and advice. 

Kosciuszko's means were slender, and his tastes 
remained always simple. An old blue suit of well- 
patched clothes sufficed for him ; but he must needs 
have a rose or violet in his buttonhole, with which 
the ladies of Soleure took care to keep him supplied. 



EXILE 199 

The money he should have spent in furbishing up 
his own person went in charity and in providing 
EmiHa with articles of dress, for the family, chiefly 
through the father's improvidence, was badly off. 
He was known by the poor for many a mile around 
as their angel visitant. Outside his doors gathered 
daily an army of beggars, certain of their regular 
dole. Kosciuszko's rides were slow, not only on 
account of his wounded leg, but because his horse 
stopped instinctively whenever a beggar was sighted, 
in the consciousness that his master never passed one 
by without giving alms. He was a famihar visitor 
in the peasants' cottages. Here he would sit among 
the homely folk, encouraging them to tell him the 
tale of their troubles, pinching himself if only he 
could succour their distress. He would explain to 
his domestic circle long and unaccountable absences 
in wild wintry weather by the excuse that he had 
been visiting friends. The friends were peasants, 
sick and burdened with family cares, to whom 
the old man day after day carried through the 
snow the money they required, as the stranger 
benefactor who would not allow his name to be 
told. 

Into this quiet routine broke the advent of dis- 
tinguished men and women of every nation, eager to 
pay their "hoihage to a man whose life and character 
had so deeply impressed Europe. An uncertain 
tradition has it that Ludwika Lubomirska visited 
him, and that in his old age the two former lovers 
talked together once more. Correspondence from 
known and unknown friends poured in upon him. 
Among these was the Princess of Carignano, the 
mother of Carlo Alberto, herself the daughter of a 



200 KOSCIUSZKO 

Polish mother, Franciszka Krasinska, through whom 
the blood of Poland flows in the veins of the present 
Royal House of Italy. Nor was England left out. 
A book, now forgotten, but largely read in a past 
generation, in which Kosciuszko's exploits figure, 
Jane Porter's Thaddeus of Warsaw, was sent to 
Kosciuszko by its author. Jane Porter had heard 
her brother's description of the Polish hero, to whom 
he had spoken when Kosciuszko was in London. She 
had seen the Cosway portrait. In his letter of thanks 
Kosciuszko told her jestingly that he was glad that 
all her eulogies of him were " in a romance, because 
no one will beUeve them." Either from him or from 
a friend of his she received a gold ring or, as some 
say, a medal, with a representation of himself engraved 
upon it. 

Through these last years Kosciuszko's heart ever 
clung fondly to his own land and language. On the 
French letters he received his hand, as he read, was 
wont to trace Polish proverbs, Polish turns of phrase. 
Tears were seen to rise to his eyes as, gazing at the 
beautiful panorama from a favourite spot of his in 
the Jura, a French friend recited Arnault's elegy 
on the homeless and wandering leaf, torn from the 
parent oak, in which the Pole read the story of his 
own exile. Education of the lower classes, for which 
he had already made so strong"a~sIahH!^ continued to 
be one of the matters in which he most keenly inter- 
ested himself. During his stay in Vienna he had 
drawn up a memorandum on the subject for those 
responsible for the department in the Kingdom of 
Poland then forming. One of his last expeditions 
before his death was to a great Swiss educational 
establishment where Pestalozzi's system had been 



EXILE 201 

inaugurated, and where Kosciuszko spent two 
days among the pupils, watching its working 
with the idea of its appHcation to PoUsh require- 
ments. 

So his days went by till his quiet death. His 
death was as simple as had been his life. He put 
his worldly affairs in order, bequeathing the money 
of Paul I that he had never touched and that he 
would not affront Alexander I, with whom his 
relations were always friendly, by returning, to a 
Polish friend who had fought under him in the 
Rising and to Emilia Zeltner, The remainder of all 
that he had to give went to other members of the 
Zeltner family and to the poor. He directed that 
his body should be carried by the poor to the grave, 
that his own sword should be laid in his coffin and 
the sword of Sobieski given back to the Polish nation. 
Then, with a last look of love bent upon the child 
Emiha, who knelt at the foot of his bed, Tadeusz 
Kosciuszko, the greatest and the most beloved of 
Poland's heroes, gently breathed his last on the 
evening of October 15, 1817. _ 

His body now rests in the Wawel in Cracow, where 
lie Poland's kings and her most honoured dead ; 
his heart in the Polish Museum in Rapperswil, 
Switzerland, among the national treasures that have 
been placed in a foreign land to preserve them against 
spoliation by Poland's conquerors. To his memory 
three years after his death his nation raised a monu- 
ment, perhaps unique of its kind. Outside Cracow 
towers the Kosciuszko, hill, fashioned by the hands 
of Polish men, women, and children, all bringing 
earth in shovel and barrow, to lay over dust, carried 
thither with no little difficulty, from the battlefields 



202 KOSCIUSZKO 

where Kosciuszko had fought for Poland. That act 
is typical. To this day the name of Tadeusz Kos- 
ciuszko lives in the hearts of the Polish people, not 
only as the object of their profound and passionate 
love, but as the symbol of their dearest^national 
aspirations. He has given his name to the greatest 
poem in the Polish language that is read wherever 
the Polish tongue has been carried by the exiled 
sons of Poland. His pictures, his relics, are venerated 
as with the devotion paid to a patron saint. Legend, 
folk-song, national music have gathered about his 
name: and after Warsaw had risen for her freedom 
on the Novem^ber night of 1830 it was to the 
strains of the Polonaise of Kosciuszko thaf the 
Poles danced in a never-to-be-forgotten scene of 
patriotic exultation. 

A Prussian fiction has attributed to Kosciuszko as 
he fell on the field of Maciejowice the phrase Finis 
Polonies. In a letter to Count Segur, Kosciuszko 
indignantly denied that he had uttered a sentiment 
which is the last ever to be heard on Polish lips or 
harboured in the heart of a Pole ; and with his 
words, to which the Poles them.selves have borne 
the most convincing testimony by the preservation 
of their nationality unimpaired through tragedy 
almost inconceivable, through nearly a hundred and 
fifty years of unremitting persecution, I close this 
book on the noblest of Polish patriots. 

" When," so Kosciuszko writes to Segur, " the 
Polish nation called me to defend the integrity, the 
independence, the dignity, the glory and the liberty 
of the country, she knew well that I was not the 
last Pole, and that with my death on the battlefield 
jor elsewhere Poland could not, must not end. All 



EXILE 203 

that the Poles have done since then in the glorious 
Polish legions and all that they will still do in the 
future to gain their country back, sufficiently proves 
that albeit we, the devoted soldiers of that country, 
are mortal, Poland is immortal. "^ 

' d'Angeberg, Recueil des Traites. 



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JefiEerson, Thomas. Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies. 

Ed. by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Charlottesville, 1829. 
Johnson, WiUiam. Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of 

Nathaniel Greene. Charleston, 1822. 
Kolfetaj, Hugo. Listy. Poznali, 1872. 

Korzon, T. Kosciuszko. Cracow, 1894, and later edition, 1906. 
Kosciuszko. Periodical PubUcation. Cracow, 1S93-96. 
Kosciuszko, T. Listy. Ed. by L. Siemieliski. Lwow, 1877. 
Kunasie^\•icz, S. T. Kosciuszko w Ameryce. Lwow, 1876. 
Mickiewicz, Adam. Histoire Populaire de Pologne. Paris, 1867. 
Napoleon I. Correspondance. Paris, 1863. 

Niemce\vicz, J. Notes sur ma Captivite a Petershourg. Paris, 1843. 
Niemcewicz, J. Pamietniki Czasdw Moich. Paris, 1848. 
Ogi6ski, M. Memoir es. Paris, 1826. 

Paszkowski, F. Dzieje Tadeusza Kosciuszki. Cracow, 1872. 
Powstanie T. Kosciuszki z Pism Autentycznych Sekretnyclu 

Poznad, 1846. 
Raczj-nski, E. Obraz Polakdw i Polski w XVIII wieku. Poznan, 

1841. 
Rychlicki, F. Tadeusz Kosciuszko i Rozbidr Polski. Cracow, 1875. 
Szujski, Jozef. Dzieje Polski. Lwow, 1866. 
Tarnowski, St. Nasze Dzieje w XIX wieku. Cracow, 1901. 
Tygodnik Illustrowany. Warsaw, 1881. Pamietnik J. Soroki; and 

for Kosciuszko's letter to Karl Schmid. 
Washington, George. Writings. Ed. by Jared Sparks. New 

York, 1847. 

204 



INDEX 



Adams, President of United 
States, 177 

Alexander, I, of Russia, visits 
Kosciuszko in prison, 168, 
191 ; friendship -with Czar- 
toryski, 168, 191 ; relations 
uith Poland, 168, 191-6 ; 
enters Paris in 1814, 191 ; 
Kosciuszko's efforts for Po- 
land with, 191-5, 197 ; pro- 
mise to Kosciuszko, 193; 201 

.\ndre, 44 

Arnault, 200 

Arnold, 44 

Augustus, III, king of Poland, 

26, 27 

Bar, Confederation of, 31, 39, 

40, 130 
Bartos, Wojtek, see dowacki 
Beaujolais, de, 180 
Brandy*, Tomasz, 106, 107 
Branicki, X,, 71, 72, 79, 81, 83 
Burgoyne, 38 
Burke, Edmund, 71 

Carignano, princess di, Maria, 
199 

Carlo Alberto, 199 

Catherine, II, of Russia, rela- 
tions with Stanislas Augustus, 

27, 33, 77, 80 ; intrigues 
in Poland, 31, 71, 72, 77, 81, 
83. 87, 94; 92 ; 99; 130; 
attitude to Prussia at siege 
of Warsaw, 146 ; treats with 
Prussia for third parti- 
tion, 149 ; sends Suvorov to 
Polcind. ib. ; relations with 
Kosciuszko, 167 ; death, 168; 
172; 191 



Charles, XII, of Sweden, 30 

Clinton, 41 

Constantine, Grand Duke, 192, 

193 

Constitution of the Third of 
May, 53, 59. 71, 72, 81, 89, 
117, 128 

CornwaUis, 46 

Cosway, portrait of Kosciuszko, 
175, 176, 200 

Czartoryska, Princess, Kosciusz- 
ko's letters to, 79-81, 84, 
121 ; 87 

Czartoryski, Prince Adam, re- 
lations with Kosciuszko, 27, 
50 ; relations with School of 
Cadets, 27-29 

Czartoryski, Prince Adam, meets 
Kosciuszko in youth, 87; 
hostage in Catherine II's 
court, 87, 191 ; friendship 
with Alexander I, 168, 191 ; 
Russia's foreign minister of 
affairs, 191. 193 ; interview 
with Kosciuszko, 194 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's letter to, 195, 196 ; 
outlawed for share in Rising 
of 1830, 196 

Danton, 90 

Denisov, 129 

Devonshire, Duchess of, 175, 
180 

Dombrowski, leader of Polish 
legions, 143, 183, 189 ; the 
March of, 143, 183 ; at siege 
of Warsaw, 143 ; successes in 
Great Poland, 150 ; takes 
Bydgoszcz, 154 ; manifesto 
to Poles, 183 ; 184 

Dzialynski, 157 



205 



206 



KOgCIUSZKO 



Estko, Stanislas, 56, 85, 183 
Estkowa, Anna, 30 ; affection 
between Kosciuszko and, 33, 
56 ; 54 ; 55 >■ Kosciuszko's let- 
ters to, 56, 57, 60, 61 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's farewell letter to, 
84. 85 ; 183 

Fersen, Kosciuszko marches 
against, 153 ; Kosciuszko's 
captor, 159-162 

Fiszer, 156, 158-165 

Fouche, treats for Napoleon 
with Kosciuszko, 1 88-1 go 

Fox, 175 

Franklin, Benjamin, 40, 50 

Frederick William, II, of Prus- 
sia, 99 ; at Szczekociny, 132, 
133 ; 138 : at siege of 
Warsaw, 141 ; summons 
Stanislas Augustus to sur- 
render, 145 ; treats with 
Catherine II for the third 
partition, 149 

Gates, relations with Kosciuszko, 
38, 39. 43. 44. 178 ; at 
Saratoga, 38, 39 ; 41 ; defeat 
Camden, 45 ; 181 

George III, 92 

Glowacki, Wojciech, 109 

Greene, Mrs., 48 

Greene, Nathaniel, relations with 
Kosciuszko, 43-46 ; leads 
war in Carolina; 45-9, on 
Kosciuszko, 48, 49 

Grey, Lord, Kosciuszko ad- 
dresses him on restoration 
of Poland, 196 ; his answer, 
196, 197 

Grzywa, Jan, 106, 107 

Igelstrom, 92, 95, 112, 113 

Jefferson, Thomas, 44 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's friendship with, 
178. 180, 181, 188 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's portrait of, 180 ; 
on Kosciuszko, 181 ; execu- 
tor of Kosciuszko's legacy to 
the negroes, 181, 182 



Kachowski, 76, 78 

Kamienski, 142, 143 

Kapostas, 94, 128 

Kilinski, takes part in Rising, 
112, 140, 141, 143 ; on 
Pohsh National Council, 128 

Kniaziewicz, in Polish legions, 
64, 185 ; in Pan Tadeusz, 
70 ; at Dubienka, 76 ; 81 ; 
at Maciejowice, 158 ; pris- 
oner of war, 158-164 ; 185 ; 
186 

Kollontaj, Hugo, member of 
Commission of Education, 
53 ; collaboration in Rising, 
53, 89, 92. 95, 121 ; as 
political reformer, 54, 61 ; 
friendship with Kosciuszko, 

61, 153 ; on Kosciuszko, 89 ; 
member of National Council, 
127 

Kopec, leads soldiers to Rising, 
130 ; at Maciejowice, 157 ; 
prisoner of war, 157-164 

Korzon, T., 35, 37. 59, 69, 85, 
86, 135, 166 

Kosciuszko, Jozef, 30, 31, 33, 54, 

55 

Kosciuszko, Ludwik, position of, 
24 ; character and house- 
hold, 24, 25 ; 26 ; 32 ; 34 

Kosciuszko, Tadeusz, type of 
national champion, 23 ; char- 
acter, 23, 26, 29, 30, 33, 
34, 41, 42, 45, 47, 49, 51, 57, 

62, 70, 80, 83, 93, 102, 105, 
107, III, 115, 122-124, 127, 

131. 134. 138. 147. 148, I74> 
175. 196 ; birth, 23 ; early 
life, 24-6 ; efforts for the 
serfs, 25, 55, 85, 116, 117. 
190, 192 ; patriotism, 26, 
32, 33. 43. 50. 58. 70. 83, 
84. 93. 115. 122, 123, 144, 
167, 175, 176, 182, 188, 191, 
196, 200 ; relations with 
Adam Czartoryski, 27, 50 ; 
life as cadet, 27-30 ; rela- 
tions with Stanislas Augus- 
tus, 27, 30-33, 35, 59, 60, 
76, 79-81, 113, 119, 122 ; 



INDEX 



207 



Kosci u szko — continued. 

his appearance, 29, 144 ; 
financial difficulties, 30-33, 
54. 55 ; studies in France, 

31. 32, 35 ; in American War 
of Independence, 31, 32, 
36-52, 57. 59. 82, 91, 132 ; 
returns to Poland in 1774, 

32, 33 ; affection for Anna 
Estkowa. 33, 56 ; Ludwika 
Sosnowska (Lubomirska) and, 
33-35. 51. 59, 163, 199; 
leaves Poland in 1775, 35 ; 
in Paris, 35, 36 ; relations 
with Washington, 37, 39-44, 
49, 177, 178 ; relations wth 
Gates, 38, 39, 43, 44, 178 ; 
meeting with Pulaski, 39, 
40 ; relations with Greene, 
43-46 ; sympathy for ne- 
groes, 45 ; Greene on, 48, 49 ; 
American testimonies to, 49 ; 
American honours for, 49, 
50 ; friendship with Niem- 
cewicz, 50, 51, 61, 105, 144, 
160, 165, 170 ; leaves Am- 
erica, 51 ; democratic sym- 
pathies, 51, 58, 59, 90, 91, 
128, 178 ; returns to Poland 
from America, 53 ; life in 
the country, 54-8 ; letters 
to Anna Estkowa, 56, 57, 60, 
61, 84, 85 ; friendship with 
Zaleslds, 57 ; letter to Michal 
Zaleski's wife, 57, 58 ; letters 
to Michal Zaleski, 58, 72, 73, 
82, 83 ; his ideas on peasant 
army, 58, 91-4, 108, no, 
116; command in Polish 
army, 59-62, 73 ; friendship 
with Ignacy Potocki and 
Kollontaj, 61, 153 ; Orlow- 
ski's letter to, 62 ; love for 
Tekla Zurowska, 62-70 ; let- 
ters to Tekla Zurowska, 63-7, 
69 ; in Pan Tadeusz, 70 ; 
part in Ukraine campaign, 
74-6, 78 ; his MS. on Uk- 
raine campaign, 75. 76, 
78, 91, 92, 119; honours 
after Dubienka, 76, 77 ; 



Kosciuszko — continued. 

resigns command, 79-81, 84 ; 
letters to Princess Czar- 
toryska, 79-81, 84, 121 ; 
audience with King, 80, 81 ; 
last days in Warsaw, 81, 82 ; 
letter to Felix Potocki, 82 ; 
bequeathal of estate, 84, 85 ; 
goes into exile, 85, 86 ; in 
Galicia, 87, 88 ; friendship 
of Czartoryskis for, 87 ; in 
Leipzig, 88, 89 ; Kollontaj 
on, 89 ; in Paris during 
Revolution, 89-92 ; relations 
with Lebrun, 90, 187 ; 
characteristics of his govern- 
ment of Poland, 91, 114, 
115, 121, 124 ; returns 
to Leipzig, 92 ; chosen as 
national leader, 92, 93 ; 
preparations for Rising, 93, 
^ 94 ; in Italy, 94 ; in Dresden, 

95 ; enters Poland as Ub- 
erator, 95 ; enters Cracow, 

96 ; his Act of the Rising, 
96-102, 127 ; opens Rising 
in Cracow, 97, 98 ; made 
dictator, 100 ; character of 
his manifestos, 102, 123 ; 
manifesto to the Polish and 
Lithuanian armies, 103-5 ; 
to the clergy, 105 ; to 
women, 105, 106 ; receives 
offering of boatmen, 106, 
107; organizes Rising, 
107; his victory at Rac- 

lawice, 108, 109, 132, 198 ; 
relations with peasant sol- 
diers, 108, 109, 122, 144 ; 
his report on Raclawice, 
109 ; organizes Rising after 
Raclawice, no; enthu- 
siasm for him, no, 121-3, 
144 ; manifesto to San- 
domierz, in, 112 ; appeal to 
Warsaw, 112 ; manifesto on 
Rising of Warsaw, 113 ; 
Provisional Council of Wilno 
on, 113, 114; difficulties of 
his task, 114, 115 ; letters to- 
Mokronowski, 115, 122, 148 ; 



^ 



208 



KOSCIUSZKO 



Kosciuszko — continued. 

to prince Sapieha, 115, 116 ; 
manifesto to Volhjmia, 116 ; 
mandate to churches, 118 ; 
conception of the war, 118, 
130 ; manifesto regarding 
Ruthenes, 118, IL9 ; to 
Ruthenian clergy, 119; let- 
ter to King, 120, 121 ; 
relations with his officers, 
122, 123 ; manifesto to 
Lithuania, 124, 125 ; mani- 
festo on his government--of 
state, 126, 127 ; regularizes 
civil government, 127, 128 ; 
reception of Poniatowski, 
127 ; against Denisov, 129 ; 
description of his camp and 
person, 130, 131 ; 131 ; 
defeat at Szczekociny, 132—4; 
Austria orders arrest of, 
134 ; summons to peasant 
war, 134, 135 ; his desperate 
position, 135 ; letter to citi- 
zens of Warsaw, 135, 136 ; 
manifesto after Szczekociny, 
136 ; march to Warsaw, 136, 
138 ; manifesto on loss of 
Cracow, 137 ; letter to War- 
saw on street murders, 138- 
140 ; tact in dealing with 
men and affairs, 140 ; his 
defence of Warsaw, 141-6 ; 
conduct of affairs from War- 
saw, 144, 145 ; attitude on 
Rising in Great Poland, 145 ; 
letter to Zakrzewski, 145, 
146 ; letter of National 
Council to, 146, 147 ; reply 
to National Council, 147 ; 
religious tolerance, 148 ; con- 
duct to Jews, ib. ; and to 
prisoners of war, 148, 149 ; 
position after deliverance of 
Warsaw, 149, 150 ; journey 
to Lithuania, 150 ; mani- 
festo to Lithuanian army, 
150-152 ; his last manifesto, 
152, 153 ; last night in 
Warsaw, 153 ; ride from 
Warsaw to Sierakowski's 



Kosciuszko — continued. 

camp, 153, 154 ; last march. 
154. 155 .' attitude on Dom- 
browski's victory, 154 ; on 
eve of Maciejowice, 155, 
156 ; at Maciejowice, 156- 
158, 197. 202 ; wounded 
and taken prisoner, 158 ; 
prisoner in the Zamojski 
manor, 159, 160 ; journey 
to Russia, 160-165 ; message 
and gift from National 
Council to, i6i ; grief in 
Warsaw for, 161 ; Warsaw 
offers to exchange Russian 
prisoners for, 161, 162 ; 
Niemcewicz on indignity 
shown to, 162 ; failure and 
moral effect of his Rising, 
163 ; imprisonment in Peters- 
burg, 165-168, 170, 171, 
173 ; subjected to inquisi- 
tion, 166, 167 ; relations 
with Catherine II, 167 ; 
Rogerson on, 167 ; visited 
by Paul I in prison and 
freed, 168 ; visited by Alex- 
ander I in prison, 168, igi ; 
colloquy with Paul, 168-170 ; 
subsequent interviews with 
Tsar, 170 ; interview with 
Niemcewicz, 170, 171 ; takes 
oath of allegiance, 171 ; 
farewell audience with Im- 
perial family, 171, 172 ; 
leaves Russia, 172 ; journey 
through Finland, 173, 174 ; 
in Sweden, 174, 175 ; Swe- 
dish portrait of, 174, 175 ; 
Cosway's portrait of, 175, 
176, 200 ; leaves Sweden 
for England, 175 ; hfe in 
London, 175, 176 ; effect on 
Savage Landor, 175 ; 'letter 
to Russian ambassador, 1 76 ; 
in Bath and Bristol, ib. ; 
departure from Bristol, 176. 
177 ; journey to United 
States, 177 ; in Philadel- 
phia, 177, 178 ; Adams' 
letter to, 177 ; friendship 



INDEX 



209 



JKosciuszko — continued. 

with Jefferson, 178, 180, 
181, 188 ; friendship with 
White family, 178-180; let- 
ter to Mrs. White, 179 ; re- 
turns to Philadelphia, 179 ; 
Paul I's gift of money to, 
180, 184, 185, 201 ; financial 
dealings with Congress, 180 ; 
visited by Orleans princes, 
180 ; his portrait of Jeffer- 
son, ib. ; Jefferson on, 181 ; 
returns to Europe, 1 81-183 ; 
will for the negroes, 181, 

182 ; nephews join legions, 

183 ; honours paid him in 
Bayonne, 183, 184 ; in Paris, 
184, 185 ; repudiates oath 
to Paul I, 184, 185 ; mea- 
sures taken by partitioning 
powers against, 185 ; pre- 
sented with Sobieski's sword, 

1S5, 186 ; relations with 
legions, 186, 187 ; relations 
■with Napoleon I, 186-190 ; 
wthdraws from relations 
with French government, 
187 ; furthers interests of 
disbanded legionaries, 188 ; 
his textbook on artillery, 
ib. ; friendship with Zelt- 
ners, 188, 190-192, 198, 199, 
201 ; his conditions for 
Poland's restoration, 190, 
192 ; life in France until 
2Srapoleon's fall, 190, 191 ; 
Emilia Zeltner and, 190, 191, 
198, 199, 201 ; relations with 
Alexander I, 191, 201 ; pleads 
ior Poland with Alexander, 
191-195, 197 ; promise of 
Alexander to, 193 ; sent 
for by Czartoryski, 193; 
journey to Austria, 193, 
194 ; interview ^\ith Czar- 
toryski, 194 ; letter to Czar- 
toryski, 195, 196 ; fulfilment 
•of his predictions regarding 
Poland, 196 ; writes to Grey, 
ib .; Grey's answer to, 196, 
197 ; retires from public 



K.oicinszko—conti nued . 

hie, 197 ; last years, 197- 

201 ; love of children and 
youth, 198 ; love of poor, 

198, 199, 201 ; corresponds 
with Princess di Carignano, 

199, 200 ; correspondence 
with Jane Porter, 200 ; inter- 
est in education, 200, 201 ; 
death, 201 ; last resting 
place, ib. ; the hill of, 201, 

202 ; Polish cult of, 202 ; 
his refutation of Finis Polo- 
nicB, 202, 203. 

Kosciuszko, Tekla, relations with 
husband, 25 ; character, 26 ; 
death, 30 

Krasinska, Franciszka, 200 

Krushtzov, 162 

Lafayette, acquaintance with 
Kosciuszko and Pulaski, 40 

Landor, Walter Savage, Kos- 
ciuszko and, 175 

Laurens, 47 

Lebrun, relations with Kos- 
ciuszko, 90, 187 

Lee, Harry, on Kosciuszko, 49 

Libiszewsld, 173-175, 177 

Louis Philippe, visits Kos- 
ciuszko, 180 

Louis XVI, recognizes United 
States, 38 ; execution, 89, 
90, 119 

Lubomirska, Lud^vika, and Kos- 
ciuszko, 33-35. 51. 59. 163, 
199 

Madalinski, 96, 108, 109, 134, 

142, 143 
jlarek. Father, 130 
Marie, Empress of Russia, 172 
McDougall, on Kosciuszko, 41 
Mickiewicz, Adam, on patriot- 
ism, 23 ; his poetry, 60 ; 
his Pan Tadeusz, 70, 202 
Mokronowski, in Rising, 113, 
150 ; Kosciuszko's letters to, 
115, 122, 148 
Montpensier, de, 180 



14 



210 



KO^CIUSZKO 



Napoleon I, Polish legions and, 

182, 183, 186, 187. 189 ; 
betrays Poland, 183, 187 ; 
enthusiasm of Poles for, 

183, 189 ; relations with 
Ko^ciuszko, 186-190 ; be- 
comes first consul, 187 ; be- 
comes emperor, 188 ; victory 
at Jena, ib. ; summons Poles 
to banner, 188, 189 ; on 
Kosciuszko, 190 ; his vic- 
tories, ib, ; marches on Paris, 

193. 
Nicholas, I, of Russia, 196 
Niemcewicz, Julian, friendship 
with Kosciuszko, 50, 51, 61, 
105, 144, 160, 165, 170 ; 
patriot and poet, 51, 61 ; in 
Florence, 94 ; Kosciuszko's 
companion in Rising, 105, 
143, 144, 150, 153-156; at 
Maciejowice, 156, 157 ; de- 
scription of battle, 156-8 ; 
taken prisoner, 157, 158 ; 
Kosciuszko's companion as 
prisoner of war, 159-165 ; 
on indignity paid to Kos- 
ciuszko, 162 ; imprisonment 
in Petersburg, 165, 167 ; 
168 ; interview with Kos- 
ciuszko, 170, 171 ; leaves 
Russia, 172, 173 ; journey 
through Finland, 174 ; jour- 
ney to England, 175 ; 176 ; 
journey to United States, 
177 ; 180 ; 181 

Oginska, Princess, 150 
Oginski, Michal, Prince, 138, 

147, 161 
Orlewska, Tekla, 64 
OrJowski, 31, 62, 87, 145 

Parsons, 41 

Paszkowski, 190, 201 ■ 
Paul, I, of Russia, visits Kos- 
ciuszko in prison and frees 
him, 168 ; colloquy with 
Kosciuszko, 168-170 ; sub- 
sequent interviews with 
Kosciuszko, 170 ; exacts 



Paul, I — continued. 

oath of allegiance from 
Kosciuszko, 171 ; farewell 
audience with Kosciuszko, 
172 ; 179 ; gift of money to 
Kosciuszko, 180, 184, 185, 
201 ; KoSciuszko repudiates 
oath to, 184, 185 

Perronet, 31 

Pestalozzi, 200 

Poniatowski, J6zef, Polish leader 
in Napoleonic wars, 74, 189 ; 
in Ukraine campaign, 74-6, 
78, 91 ; in Rising, 122, 127; 
143 ; Kosciuszko's reception 
of, 127 

Poniatowski, Stanislas Augustus, 
see S. 

Poninski, 133, 157 

Porter, Jane, 200 

Potocki, Felix, 71, 72, 75, 79, 
81 ; Kosciuszko's letter to, 
82; 83 

Potocki, Ignacy, member of 
Commission of Education, 
53 ; collaboration in Rising, 
53. 89, 92, 93, 95, 121 ; 
friendship with Kosciuszko, 
61, 153 ; patriotic reformer, 
61, 8g ; member of National 
Council, 127 ; consulted by 
Kosciuszko regarding oath, 
171 

Potocki, Stanislas, 75 

Pulaski, Kazimierz, 31, 39, 40 

Radifere, 41 

Repnin, 31 

Robespierre, 91 

Rogerson, on Kosciuszko, 167 ; 

171, 172, 176 
Rzewuski, Severin, 71, 72, 79, 

81, 83 

Sanguszko, Eustachy, 133 
Sanguszko, Princess, 163 
Sapieha, Franciszek, 115, 116 
Segur, 202 
Sheridan, 175 

Sierakowski, 150, 153, 154, 
158-164 



INDEX 



211 



Sobieski, Jan, 87, 185, 186, 201 
Sosnowska, Ludwika, see Lubo- 

mirska 
Sosnowski, J6zef, 33, 34 
Sroki, Wojciech, 106, 107 
Stanislas, Augustus, succeeds 
to throne of Poland, 27 ; 
relations with Catherine II, 
27. 33. 77. 80 ; relations 
with Kosciuszko, 27, 30-33, 
35. 59. 60, 76, 79-81, 113, 
119, 122 ; character, 30, 32, 
80 ; patron of art and letters, 
53 ; speech to Diet, 73, 74 ; 
conduct in Ukraine cam- 
paign, 75 ; adheres to Targo- 
wica, 77, 78 ; Kosciuszko 
on, 78, 91, 92 ; 81 ; adheres 
to Rising, 112, 113; Kos- 
ciuszko's letter to, 120, 121; 
in siege of Warsaw, 145 
Staszyc, 54 

Suvorov, marches against Kos- 
ciuszko, 149, 153 ; beats 
Sierakowski, 150 ; his mas- 
sacre at Praga, 153, 163 ; 
his siege of Warsaw, 161 

Targowica, Confederation of, 72, 
73, 77. 78. 81-83, 120, 138 

Walpole, Horace, 71 



Washington, George, relations 
with Kosciuszko, 37, 39-44, 

49,177. 178:43; 45; 50; 180 
Wejssenhof, 121 
White, Ehza, 179 
White, General, 178, 180, 181 
White, Mrs., 179, 180 
Wilkinson, 38 
Wilmot, 47, 48 
Wodzicki, 97, 132, 133 
Wybicki, 189 

Zajonczek, 93, 94, log 

Zakrzewski, 113; summons to 
citizens of Warsaw, 140, 
141 ; 143 ; letter of Kos- 
ciuszko to, 145, 146 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's last evening with, 

153 

Zaleski, Michal, Kosciuszko's 
friendship for, 57 ; Kos- 
ciuszko's letter to his wife, 
57, 58 ; Kosciuszko's letters 
to, 58, 72, 73, 82, 83 

Zeltner, Emilia, and Kosciuszko, 
190, 191, 198, 199, 201 

Zeltner, family of, 188, 190-192, 

. 198, 199, 201. 

Zurowska, Tekla, Kosciuszko's 
love for, 62-70 ; Kosciuszko's 
letters to, 63-67, 69 ; marries 
Kniaziewicz, 70 



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